First ever carfentanil death reported in Madison County

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Madison County Coroner's office confirms the first Carfentanil death of 2017.

The synthetic opioid is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

"It has no human use whatsoever and it's used as a large mammal and frequently an elephant tranquilizer," Tyler Berryhill, Madison County Deputy Coroner.

He said he isn't sure exactly how the deadly drug came to Madison County, but said it wasn't made here.

"Usually a lot of this stuff that we're seeing now with the synthetic fentanyl is being shipped into the country from countries such as China, that are producing the synthetics," Berryhill said.

He explained that someone seeking out the drug is likely wanting to experience a stronger fentanyl high with taking a lesser amount.

"It's like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun. It's more or less a surprise if they don't die with it. Anything that can tranquilize an elephant, and you put into a human 99 percent of the time it's going to cause death," he said.

Carfentanil isn't just risky for those who use, it's also dangerous for those who respond to a scene where it's present.

Berryhill wants people to know it's not a matter if, but when using Carfentanil will kill you.

"Seek out, get help, and talk to people. Everyday when you wake up, if you've got an addiction, if you're fighting a battle, fight it every single day," he said.

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