CHICAGO (AP) — The Cook County medical examiner’s office says a powerful new type of opioid is to blame for more than 40 deaths in the Chicago-area this year.
The medical examiner’s office says that 44 deaths were attributed to acrylfentanyl from January through April. That number was just seven for all of last year. Acrylfentanyl is a chemical cousin of fentanyl, which is a powerful synthetic opioid.
The office is warning the general public and emergency responders about this drug because officials say it could take more than one dose of naloxone, the heroin antidote, to revive a person who takes it.
Dr. Ponni Arunkumar is Cook County’s chief medical examiner. Arunkumar describes the drug as “very powerful” and “likely to be lethal.” The office says one dose can easily stop a person from breathing and immediately kill them.