Authorities warn of deadly drug in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Authorities warn of deadly drug in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Authorities in Dubuque are warning the public about a deadly drug making its way through the Tri-State area. 

It's called Carfentanil. "Carfentanil is about 5,000 times stronger than just plain old heroin...I guess if you can call heroin plain old," said Sergeant Gary Pape of the Dubuque Drug Task Force.

It's a drug that's used as an elephant tranquilizer. For humans, it's lethal. "It's a large animal tranquilizer...it's not meant for humans. You have to have a severe tolerance to opioids in order to even survive taking this," said Pape.

It's often mixed with fentanyl and heroin, having appeared in the form of a tan or white powder here in Dubuque. It also comes in tablets, blotter paper and as a spray, according to the DEA.

This is why the Dubuque Drug Task force is hoping to save lives by getting this information out there. They've recently put up new billboards around town to try to get the drugs off the streets. They encourage people anonymously tip heroin in the community to the drug task force.

"I think Dubuque, and Iowa...along with the rest of the country has a bad opioid problem. Most of our users start out with a prescription opioid addiction, and it just evolves from there," added Pape.

Authorities asking  the public to be vigilant and careful when dealing with these deadly drugs.

So far this year,  there have been 26 opioid overdoses in Dubuque County. Nine of those resulted in death. 

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