The heroin and opioid epidemic continues in Wisconsin. But now there's a new concern about a far more deadly drug possibly making its way into the state for the first time.
TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with Attorney General Brad Schimel about this dangerous new drug and the challenges facing law enforcement.
As a former county prosecutor, Brad Schimel is well aware of the explosion of heroin and opiate overdose deaths. But there's a new concern for Wisconsin's Attorney General - its called carfentanil.
Schimel: We do have something that has had a preliminary test that it may be carfentanil in our state.
Benson: When did this happen?
Schimel: This has been in the course of last last month that we discovered this.
If confirmed, it would add to a crisis already gripping the state. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is more deadly than fentanyl and far more lethal than heroin.
"Here's something frightening about it," said Schimel, "drug dogs don't detect fentanyl or carfentanil. You can even get it shipped to you in the mail, that's what people are often doing now."
Schimel says the opioid addiction problem usually starts at home with prescription pain killers .
"We know that 70% of the time when people start abusing prescription opiates, they didn't get them from a doctor or drug dealer or at least not a traditional drug dealer," said Schimel. "They got them from a family member or friend."
To help battle that problem, Wisconsin has a statewide program that allows people to turn unused prescribed medications.
Schimel office says the Drug Enforcement Agency now ranks Wisconsin second in the country in collecting prescribed meds, nearly 59,000 pounds this year.
Schimel: Ten semi truck loads in the last two years have been safely incinerated.
Benson: Where's that coming from?
Schimel: Everywhere, it's every community.
The state has multiple drop off sites for unused prescriptions drugs. Get more information here.