Sunday, June 23, 2024

Warning: Dangerous drug combo discovered in NY, state health department says

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The New York State Department of Health is warning residents of a recently detected dangerous mix of substances found in the Central New York area.

A public health alert was issued Friday after the department’s Drug Checking Program community partner ACR Health found two samples tested from bags labeled “Super Mario” consisted of a combination of fentanyl, xylazine and trace amounts of heroin and carfentanil — a potent drug considered to be up to 100 times stronger than fentanyl, the state Department of Health said.

The samples were collected May 20 and confirmed by the laboratory June 6. A third sample is currently being tested.

“Carfentenil is a veterinary drug that is no longer marketed because it is so dangerous,” state Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “Our Drug Checking Program at ACR Health was able to quickly identify this dangerous substance and continues to be vital to our harm reduction and public health surveillance efforts and connecting people who use drugs with resources and support.”

The substance has reportedly been linked to severe wounds needing emergency department care within 2-3 weeks of use, according to the state Department of Health, which is warning New Yorkers to take precaution with any unregulated substance, regardless of its label or packaging.

Monroe County saw 124 overdoses in May, with six fatalities potentially due to overdose, according to the county’s opioid overdose tracker.

Emily Barnes is the New York State Team consumer advocate reporter for the USA TODAY Network. Contact Barnes at ebarnes@gannett.com or on Twitter @byemilybarnes.

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