Drugs account for 43 percent of Madison County accidental deaths in 2017

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Madison County Coroner's Office confirms it's first ever carfentanil death.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, carfentanil is a synthetic opiod that is 10,000 time more potent than morphine, and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.

Madison County Deputy Coroner Tyler Berryhill says based on 2017 statistics, Madison County averages a drug related death every five days.

Drug related deaths account for 43 percent of the accidental deaths in Madison County this year.

Berryhill says there's been a rise specifically in synthetic fentanyl use.

The coroner's office said opioid overdose account for 75 percent of the drug related death in the county for 2017.

He added that often times drug overdose deaths are a result of mixing different drugs.

HEMSI officials are calling the overdose epidemic a major public health crisis. HEMSI has responded to more than 400 overdose calls just this year.