Jul 2, 2017

Meet the deadliest of the deadly opioids

Chris Post / AP

Opioid overdose deaths have increased more than six-fold since the 1970s, and an estimated 2.5 million Americans abuse this class of drugs. But the deadliest killer is not heroin. Synthetic opioids, which can kill much faster than heroin, have fueled the epidemic. Here's what they are:

  • "Grey death": The newest street drug is a dangerous opioid cocktail that is 5,000 times as potent as heroin (CNN)
  • Carfentanil: This elephant tranquilizer is as powerful as "grey death" (National Affairs)
  • Fentanyl: The most commonly found synthetic opioid is 50 times as deadly as heroin (National Affairs)
  • Furanyl fentanyl: This version of fentanyl is 10 times as potent as heroin (USA Today)
  • U-47700: This research chemical, still legally available, is eight times as potent as heroin (NBC)

FiveThirtyEight noted that available data on drug abuse, which would help policymakers and researchers combat the drug epidemic, has dropped drastically, potentially making the problem worse.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.