COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz issued a Carfentanil warning after an increase in overdose deaths were reported.
According to the coroner’s office, three people died of Carfentanil in January 2019. Six people died from Carfentanil in Franklin County in 2018.
Franklin County’s warning comes a day after a similar alert was issued in Cuyahoga County.
The Franklin County Coroner’s office said Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid and large animal sedative. The drug is said to be extremely potent and unsafe for human use. "If a human takes it, it will just shut down the respiratory system and cause someone to stop breathing,” explained Dr. Ortiz.
Kristy Whaley lost her son Kyle to an accidental drug overdose in 2017. "He did have opiates in his urine and his blood according to the toxicology report, but it was carfentanil and it took him,” said Whaley. “It was swift. I would say three or four minutes at the most and he was dead."
Whaley said her 25-year-old son was on the dean’s list at Ohio State and studied agriculture and economics while battling drug addiction.
Whaley, she works closely with outreach group “The Addict’s Parents United” in handing out care packets to homeless addicts.
She said it’s her way of making sure another family doesn’t feel her pain, “I do this so that the world will know him and know his name and his fight is over, but mine is not,” said Whaley.
As a result of the warning, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office is passing along information on naloxone, treatment and recovery homes. People looking for resources on naloxone training can find them at the Ohio Department of Health's website. Information on naloxone distributors and information on addiction and treatment can be found on Columbus Public Health's website. And information on recovery homes in central Ohio can be found here.