HOUSTON – A new drug danger has hit the streets of Houston – a drug so strong, it's sometimes used as an elephant tranquilizer.

Carfentanil was recently detected in an overdose patient here in Houston. It is an opioid 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

“Last week, we confirmed that a case that came into us on June 7th was, in fact, Carfentanil,” said Dr. Peter Stout with the Houston Forensic Science Center.

Stout says just an 80 milligram amount could kill 4000 people.

“This is why we’re so worried about it,” said Stout. “Because of the potency of this particular drug.”

Carfentanil is related to Fentanyl. That’s the opioid blamed for pop star Prince’s fatal overdose. Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than that.

“This stuff is real and this stuff will kill you,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Local, state and federal officials are coming together to fight it and better protect officers and other first responders who may encounter it.

“We are in the process of ordering better, thicker gloves for our personnel and we’re asking them to double up the gloves and put two layers of gloves on,” said HPD Chief Art Acevedo.

More officers should also soon be equipped with opioid antidote Narcan.

Their advice to the public is to avoid all drugs outside of those you are prescribed.

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