There are so many bodies in Ohio - around half due to drug overdoses - that the morgues can't handle them all. Coroners have taken to stashing the corpses in refrigerated "mass casualty" trailers, which can hold 18 at a time.
These are being used as temporary morgues. For now.
Just this year alone, there are been 90 overdose deaths in Stark County and 109 in Cuyahoga County, according to the Akron newspaper.
The latter County is were Cleveland is located. Cleveland rocks.
"We thought when bird flu was moving in there would be a massive epidemic and we'd need the trailers for that," he said. "Instead we have this."
"We're up 20 percent this year," he said. "Our suicide rate is also up. The drug problem is costing us a significant amount of money. We're spending five digits every month on toxicology tests.'
That's because drug abusers are overdosing on a variety of things these days.
"The new thing this month is mixing meth with carfentanil," Walters said.
What is carfentanil?
"It's an animal tranquilizer 100 times more powerful than fentanyl," he said. "It's used on big animals like elephants and tigers. It's crazy."
Yes, it is crazy. When immobilizing elephants, we used M-99 (Etorphine) which is roughly 80,000 times more powerful than morphine. It's also fatal to humans, which is why M-5050 is included - in case of accidental contact. I've experienced that once, and it is distinctly un-fun. Yes, M-99 will kill a human in seconds on contact alone; it's administered as a subcutaneous injection when treating megaherbivores.
Etorphine is available legally only for veterinary use and is strictly governed by law. It is often used to immobilize elephants and other large mammals. Diprenorphine (M5050), also known as Revivon, is an opioid receptor antagonist that can be administered in proportion to the amount of etorphine used (1.3 times) to reverse its effects. Veterinary-strength etorphine is fatal to humans. For this reason the package as supplied to vets always includes the human antidote as well as etorphine.
Carfentanil is about 10,000 times more potent than morphine and as mentioned above, 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which has in recent years been used by dealers to cut heroin. In humans, one microgram of carfentanil achieves activity. It is so dangerous that it's not cleared for anything other than immobilizing large animals in the 8 to 12,000 pound range. Those would be your basic elephants. So they're cutting street drugs with these things. It's no wonder people are overdosing and dying. On the other hand, I guess it's sort of cleaning out the gene pool.