(SALEM, IL) — The Marion County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the presence of Carfentanyl in a recent overdose death in Marion County. Coroner Troy Cannon says that Carfentanyl is an incredibly potent synthesized analgesic, so strong that its only legitimate use is as a large-animal tranquilizer, typically used only for elephants. This is the first time Carfentanyl has appeared in Marion County. Cannon says that any amount of Carfentanyl introduced into the human body is potentially fatal, regardless of the person’s metabolism, opiate tolerance, or other factors. Carfentanyl has recently been added to heroin mixtures, mostly on the east coast, but is spreading westward. This is an especially troubling development, given that there is absolutely no way for a heroin user to know with any certainty what’s contained in the heroin they’re using. Cannon reiterates that Carfentanyl will not give the user a deeper or stronger “high.” It will simply kill the user by causing rapid cardiopulmonary collapse. To put the substance’s potency into perspective, a dose the volume of a single grain of salt is enough to be fatal for any human being. Cannon also says the drug is so powerful that the chances of resuscitation using countermeasures such as NarCan are severely diminished and unlikely, even if administered right away. Carfentanyl also presents a greatly increased risk to first responders, investigators, and others who may come into contact with the substance, in any situation or scenario. Marion County Sheriff Rich Stevenson, Salem Police Chief Sean Reynolds, Centralia Chief Brian Atchison, along with Marion County Health Department Director Lori Ryan and Centralia Community Resource Center Director Georgianne Broughton, and other area Law Enforcement Agencies are all on alert regarding this troubling development. Narcotics Investigators in the region are focusing resources toward keeping this fatal substance off the street. Cannon is urging all heroin users to immediately stop using heroin from any source. Families and loved ones of heroin users should offer immediate help and support to get their loved ones to stop using immediately. The Community Resource Center in Salem and Centralia can offer assistance, advice, and resources and referrals to those seeking to quit. Coroner Cannon says that Law Enforcement leaders and others will continue to work cooperatively to monitor the situation and to address it aggressively from any perspective possible.