According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the number of heroin addicts in Michigan is beginning to drop and it may be linked to carfentanil overdoses.

Carfentanil is known to be an elephant tranquilizer and used as a chemical weapon. It is legal in China and Chinese vendors openly export it to other countries, including the United States.

There have been 19 deaths in Wayne County alone and over the past week there has been an increase in severe opioid-related overdoses in southeastern and central Michigan.

According to authorities, carfentanil, mixed with heroin and sometimes sold in pill form, puts Michigan residents at great risk of accidental overdose and death due to the extreme potency of the drug. The drug is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.