BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Harford County reported its first case of a fatal overdose involving carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that’s 10,000 times more potent than morphine, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s office learned Wednesday that a toxicology report on an overdose earlier this month tested positive for carfentanil.

RELATED: Baltimore’s Opioid Epidemic: Police Fighting An Uphill Battle

As of Monday, in Harford County 34 people have died from heroin overdoses this year, according to the Sheriff’s Office. There have been 126 non-fatal overdoses.

Carfentanil, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency in an alert issued in September 2016, is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, another synthetic opioid.

Opioids have killed more than 100 people in Harford County since the Sheriff’s Office began counting overdoses in January 2014. More than 300,000 people have died from opiate overdoses since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control in a statement dated Dec. 16, 2016.

According to the CDC, carfentanil is used in veterinary medicine as a sedative or anesthetic agent for large animals, such as elephants.

Maryland state health officials reported April 21, according to the Baltimore Sun, that three other cases of carfentanil overdose deaths have been reported in Maryland this year two in Anne Arundel County and one in Frederick County.

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  1. Carfentanil has now also spread into the streets of Hartford County. Lethal synthetic opiates are being added to heroin and pills, without the knowledge of the drug user. As these powerful manufactured substances continue to spread, more lives are lost to overdose. This opioid crisis affects all. Even if we do not use opiates ourselves, chances are, we know someone who does. We must choose to work wisely and together with available resources in order to save lives.