Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner is reporting that the overdose death earlier this month of a 38-year-old Kankakee man was due to carfentanil. It’s a synthetic opioid that officials in states across the country say is linked to many other overdose deaths.
Gessner said toxicology reports received Monday confirm that the man, who was found dead in his home on May 4, was the victim of the powerful narcotic.
The man's death came at a time... when first responders saved six people from overdoses during a 24-hour period between May 4 and 5 using Narcan, a drug which reverses the effects of a drug overdose.
One other person, a 42-year-old man from Bourbonnais, died of an overdose on May 4, but Gessner has not released any information on that death.
Since Dec. 1, 2016, the start of the county's fiscal year, there have been 24 drug overdose deaths.
Gessner said many are a result of heroin and fentanyl, another synthetic opioid.
Carfentanil is never prescribed to humans and is used to tranquilize large animals. Experts say carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.