Carfentanyl makes its way to La Crosse, leading to more doses of Narcan

Rise in Carfentanyl causes local concern

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - So far in 2018, Tristate ambulance administered Narcan three times a week. 

Clinical supervisor  Nick Eastman says, Narcan, the overdose-reversal medication, was administered to 22 patients in the last two months, compared to 28 patients this time last year. 

While the statistics may seem positive at face value, Tristate ambulance and emergency personnel are giving more doses of Narcan with each patient they treat.

Eastman says that's concerning because Opioids are proving to be more dangerous this year, because they're mixed with Carfentanyl.

"Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, are two big things that can play into the potency of an illicit drug and can certainly create situations where the patient would require more than one or more than several doses of narcan."

Gundersen doctor Chris Eberlein says Carfentanyl, which was produced in the 1960's, could kill a person with an amount equal to a grain of salt. 

"Carfentanyl is a hundred times more potent than Fentanyl, it actually is not used in human medicine, they use it in veterinary medicine for large animal sedation like elephant tranquilizers so it's not even something that's common in the veterinary world."

Eberlein says the drug is produced overseas and only very little is needed to smuggle into the country.

He says La Crosse has already seen the dangerous effects, with a confirmed death in the area from Carfentanyl last winter. 

"So that's obviously a concern for everyone in the community."

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