Officials: Death of Norwalk man involved carfentanil

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HARTFORD — Connecticut officials said carfentanil, an extremely powerful synthetic opioid sometimes used to sedate elephants, was part of an overdose death in April.

The Norwalk man’s death confirmed by the state medical examiner’s office is believed to be Connecticut’s first involving the substance.

Connecticut State Police said Friday it recently had a case involving two samples that tested positive for carfentanil.

Carfentanil, which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine, was recently detected in three drug samples for the first time in Massachusetts.

These cases come less than a year after DEA officials said the agency isn’t aware of lab analysis that has identified carfentanil in Connecticut or New England.

Authorities said carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled.