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.

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.