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Maine authorities warn of powerful opioid suspected in overdose

YORK (AP) — Authorities in Maine are gearing up for the potential arrival of a potent opioid used to sedate elephants and other large animals.

The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2ehUPfP ) reported that law enforcement officials are warning the public and drug users that contact with even a small dose of the drug, carfentanil, can be deadly.

Police say the drug is suspected in the weekend overdose of a York man who needed at least five doses of the overdose reversal drug Narcan to be revived.

The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Timothy Desmond, special agent with the New England division of the DEA, says there’ve been no confirmed cases of carfentanil in Maine but authorities are “bracing for it.”

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