What is carfentanil?
Last September, the DEA issued a nationwide warning about the health and safety risks of carfentanil that can also resemble powdered cocaine.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office attributed 19 deaths in January to cocaine mixed with more powerful opioids.
"If someone is using cocaine, they might not be expecting it to be mixed with fentanyl," U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon told Cleveland.com.
Fentanyl and carfentanil also show up in counterfeit pills made to look like prescription pain medications and sedatives such as OxyContin and Xanax, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“If you’re choosing to use drugs right now, you really are taking a gamble,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco told WCPO-TV earlier this month.
“We’ve seen a 30 percent increase in cocaine," Sammarco she told the Cincinnati station. "I know that that’s also been mixed with fentanyl and different fentanyl combinations.”
The region is also seeing a new drug called "gray death," which resembles cement and also often contains heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.
“Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a warning late last year. “It is crazy dangerous.”
There have been unfounded or unconfirmed recent reports of fentanyl and carfentanil-laced marijuana showing up on the streets of northeast Ohio and Canada.