Heroin being laced with elephant tranquilizer, officials say

With the nation already in the grips of an opioid epidemic, officials have a new warning about heroin.

Reports of heroin laced with the potent commercial opioid carfentanil have come from across the country, according to CNN.

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Carfentanil is used commercially to sedate large animals like elephants. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine, and approximately two milligrams can sedate a 2,000-pound elephant, according to the CNN report.

Dealers often cut heroin with another substance to stretch supplies, and a user may not be aware. The deadly potency of carfentanil may be linked to recent heroin overdose outbreaks in Ohio, Indiana and Florida.