Possible help in reducing opioid deaths


For the last several years, Ohio has wrestled with how to control a heroin epidemic that has decimated families and left scores of children orphaned.

Part of the solution may have just been provided by China, which has banned the manufacture and sale of fentanyl and carfentanil, the synthetic opioids fueling the rash of overdose deaths in Ohio.

China announced the decision on last month, after six months of talks between United States and Chinese officials.

Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Russ Baer called it a potential “game-changer” in the so-far losing battle against the heroin scourge.

His statement is not just hyperbole from a government official.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid about 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. Dealers mix it into their heroin to give the drug a bigger kick and stretch supplies. Two milligrams of it can be lethal. Carfentanil is an animal tranquilizer that is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. The synthetics are so powerful that drug-sniffing dogs can die by inhaling them during a search.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations has seen a huge spike of the synthetics’ presence in the state. In 2016, BCI had 2,396 positive test results for fentanyl, up from 1,110 in 2015. There were 214 positive carfentanil tests last year…

The (Toledo) Blade

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