- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts State Police say three samples of carfentanil (kahr-FEHN’-tuh-nihl), an extremely powerful synthetic opioid sometimes used to sedate elephants, have been identified in the state for the first time.

State police say lab tests show three drug samples- two from Brockton and one from Quincy -tested positive for carfentanil, which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Police say two samples were purely carfentanil, one was mixed with cocaine.

Authorities are warning the public and first responders about the opioid’s “extreme lethality.” Carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled.

Police say they’re not aware of any deaths in Massachusetts currently tied to carfentanil, but several recent overdose deaths in New Hampshire are believed to have been caused by the substance.

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