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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
10:30 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Counterfeit carfentanil-containing pills seized in Phoenix

KINGMAN – Arizona residents should be on the lookout for counterfeit oxycodone pills, as law enforcement in Phoenix recently confirmed a drug seizure of these pills containing carfentanil, a powerful and deadly synthetic opioid analgesic compound.

According to the Pima County and Tucson Metropolitan Counter Narcotics Alliance, carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, 1,000 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.

Several hundred pills, which were light blue with an “A 215” marking, were seized by law enforcement in the metropolitan Phoenix area.

“These pills are sold on the streets as ‘blues,’ ‘Oxy,’ ‘Oxys’ and are made to appear as pharmaceutically produced 30 mg oxycodone pills,” the release states.

The powerful synthetic is lethal at even a 20 micro-gram dosage, about one-third of a grain of salt. Carfentanil has no medically approved uses for humans, but is used to sedate elephants.

“As far as we know, Mohave County has not encountered this, but the public needs to be aware of the potential dangers of this drug, which could surface at any time,” said Michelle Valandingham, prescription drug overdose prevention coordinator for Mohave County, in a message to the Daily Miner.

CNA urges caution and says that if someone comes in contact with what they believe to be carfentanil to leave it in place and evacuate people from the immediate area. The area should be closed off from ventilation sources that could spread the synthetic and law enforcement should be informed of the situation.

CNA recommends that those with pain management issues talk to a physician to learn more about management. If medications are needed, CNA says to obtain them from a licensed pharmacy, not a street source.

Those with opioid use disorders should seek treatment. They can also consider getting NARCAN, an overdose reversal drug, for potential overdose situations. NARCAN is available at most pharmacies without a prescription CNA said in the release.

Questions can be directed to Lt. Chris Wildblood at CNA at 520-719-2002 ext. 826, or at Christian.wildblood@tucsonaz.gov.

Information provided by the Counter Narcotics Alliance.