Bedford, Bedford County, Pa. - The Bedford County Coroner says that a new lethal drug called Carfentanil was found in Bedford Township at an overdose site, and it poses great danger to the public, first responders, and law enforcement.
In a press conference Monday afternoon coroner Russell Styer explained that this drug can come in the form of a powder, blot paper, tablets and is ten thousand times more potent than morphine.
Veterinarians use this drug to put large animals like elephants to sleep.
Styer believes that this drug is more resistant to naloxone and could take multiple doses to reverse an overdose.
He says that this drug can be airborne and can take effect within minutes.
"Everyone that touches this, it can be the officer that goes home picks up his kid if he has any of that powder on him it gets into his kids skin in can go to anyone i mean you don't have to use it, you don't have to have a needle present, it can just be airborne you may not even know it."
So far in 2017, 14 people in Bedford County have died from overdoses.
The unit director of Emergency and Intensive Care at UPMC Bedford says on average they treat between 6 and 10 people a month for overdoses.
He says the symptoms are getting worse.
"We're seeing more and more come in with anxillary problems, whether they've vomitted and aspirated and need mechanical ventiliation, time in the ICU, we're noticing that the side effects, the long term effects of the overdoses are increasing," explained Andrew Sylvester.
Since September of 2016, Carfentanil has been the cause of 7 overdose deaths across the state of Pennsylvania.
The drug was discovered in Bedford County on may 6th after a 45 year-old man overdosed in bedford township.