Recovering addict shares dangers of carfentanil, deadliest drug - WSMV Channel 4

Recovering addict shares dangers of carfentanil, deadliest drug in TN

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Police said the amount seized is enough for enough for thousands of lethal human doses. (Source: Metro Nashville PD) Police said the amount seized is enough for enough for thousands of lethal human doses. (Source: Metro Nashville PD)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Heroin, meth and cocaine are incredibly addicting and deadly drugs, but they aren’t even in same ballpark of another drug found in the Midstate.

It’s so powerful it can take down an elephant. It’s called carfentanil and experts say it's 10,000 times more potent that morphine.

A packet of it was just seized in Metro.

A recovering drug addict says it's nothing to mess around with.

Emilio Rodriguez nearly died after a carfentanil overdose.

“I went through hell and high water to get where I am at today,” Rodriguez said.

It took a four-year stint in prison and five overdoses for Rodriguez to say enough is enough. He has been sober for nine months and now finds pleasure in music and helping others beat addiction.

Rodriguez said he can relate to the desperation.

“The only thing you want is more. It's not anything else, it's whatever your drug of choice is. Whether it’s alcohol, cocaine or heroin, all you want is more,” Rodriguez said.

Carfentanil is often disguised as pure heroin, but the potency is much higher.

Metro police say the packet they seized has the power to kill 1,000 people.

“I consumed the same exact amount and overdosed bad. I had latent breathing and was found on the floor in the kitchen,” Rodriguez said.

The scary thing about carfentanil, Rodriguez said, is users have no way of telling what it is.

“I wasn't getting my drugs from a chemist, so it's not like he was able to tell me or couldn't show me a periodic table that says what is contained in a capsule,” Rodriguez said.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it's hard to estimate how many people have died from carfentanil overdoses because toxicology tests aren't advanced enough to detect it.

The University of Florida is working on developing a new testing system that will.

Rodriguez is telling his story because he wants people to pay attention. If you think someone you love is using drugs, don't ignore it.

“Don’t write it off as that can't be my son or that can't be my daughter, because I was the ‘can't be son,’” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is a life coach at Spring to Life.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction, call the 24/7 hotline 1-888-614-2251.

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