BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – The sale and use of a synthetic opioid capable of causing immediate death is gaining a foothold across the state and in Steuben County, county Sheriff Jim Allard said Thursday.

Allard said the New York State Department of Health Drug User Health Office recently issued a warning to drug abuse prevention agencies in Steuben about the growth of the illegal drug carfentanyl (or carfentanil) in the state.

Commonly used to tranquilize elephants or other large animals, carfentanyl is reportedly 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl. The odorless white power is mixed with other drugs to make them stronger and cheaper, and is highly toxic when inhaled or touched.

“This drug is so potent the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has issued special alerts to our first
responders, law enforcement, EMTs and firefighters, about what to do if they accidentally come in
contact with it,” Allard said. “The DEA warns Narcan may need to be administered several times before the victim regains consciousness. This drug is a killer.”

Allard urged anyone who knows suppliers, dealers or victims of the lethal drug to call the county’s
anonymous TipLine at 844-DRUG TIP (844-378-4847) or e-mail the new Website:

In addition, there are a number of groups in the county dedicated to helping addicts and their loved ones, Allard said. For referrals to existing services, call 2-1-1.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in drug abuse and related crimes, like domestic violence and child abuse,” he said. “We know people are hurting. But bringing this killer drug into the mix of misery is not the answer.”