BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A deadly synthetic drug is claiming lives in Maryland.

The drug carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer, has shown up in the autopsies of three Marylanders.

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One of the people who overdosed is from Frederick County, while the other two were from Anne Arundel County.

“Carfentanil is very, very dangerous,” said Anne Arundel County Police Department Lt. Ryan Frasure. “It’s said to be 100 times more potent than fentanyl.”

It has killed two people in Anne Arundel County.

“The user often times doesn’t know that that’s what their heroin is cut with,” said Frasure. “They’re putting something into their body that even though putting that heroin into their body has an effect. They’re used to what that feels like, and when it’s mixed with something dangerous like this, that’s what causes that fatal overdose, and often times very quickly.”

An opioid addict described his carfentanil experience in an interview with CBS News.

“I believe it was carfentanil, and I know…I’ve been doing dope and done fentanyl and it wasn’t the same, you know what I mean. You went from being coherent and then it was just like a blackout,” the addict said.

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[Reporter: Where is this coming from?] “That’s something that our detectives are still investigating,” said Frasure. “So we have our heroin task force detectives that are assigned to these two cases, and right now they’re trying to establish any type of link, if any, and try to identify the source of where the carfentanil is coming from.”

Chances of survival are not good.

“I’m here and I’m alive and I shouldn’t be,” the addict said.

Health officials are on the alert.

There is a real fear of more overdoses because people using drugs have no way of knowing if carfentanil is in them.

Governor Larry Hogan has declared an opioid state of emergency in Maryland. Click here to get help, or call the Maryland crisis hotline.

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