Elephant tranquilizer is the latest lethal addition to the heroin epidemic

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Heroin stock image.

A substance used to tranquilize elephants that is 100 times more potent than the drug that killed Prince is hitting some communities, the Washington Post reported.

Fatalities from using what is called carfentanil are on the rise in places such as Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota, alarming health and law enforcement officials already in a state of emergency combating the opioid crisis.

On Monday, a Virginia man pleaded guilty after selling $100 of carfentanil-laced heroin to a 21-year-old found dead by her mother on the bathroom floor of their home.

“We have never seen death like we do now,” said Tom Synan, head of Hamilton County Heroin Coalition in Ohio, which was among the first spots to discover a string of carfentanil deaths during a week in which the county’s overdoses more than doubled. “It shows how callous these drug dealers are,” Synan said. “It has no human use whatsoever and they’re putting it out on the street and wreaking havoc.”

Read more about this issue in the Washington Post.