Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is upgrading masks and gloves and evidence bags for his officers and is urging emergency medical responders to strengthen their protections after a presumed batch of methamphetamine in the city has been confirmed as a highly potent opioid.
The Houston Forensic Science Center's chief executive officer, Peter Stout, says a lethal dose of the drug carfentanil is so small -- 20 micrograms -- it's not likely someone would be able to see it.
He says the only legitimate use for the drug is as an elephant tranquilizer.
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Acevedo and Stout were joined at a news conference Tuesday by Mayor Sylvester Turner and others warning people to protect themselves by not using illegal pills and other substances laced with the drug blamed for overdose deaths nationwide.