JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Law enforcement agencies are warning the public about carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is popping up in parts of the U.S. — including here in Alabama.

Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith said carfentanil is 100 times more potent than regular fentanyl and it has made its way to Walker County.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office found carfentanil over the weekend. It’s a drug that is commonly used as an elephant tranquilizer.

“Unfortunately where we are at dealing with the drug trends, usually by the time we figure out how to combat fentanyl, there’s going to be something new around the corner that we have to look at trying to combat. So all of it is very concerning,” Smith said.

Sheriff Nick Smith said the number of overdose calls in the area has increased since the pandemic and with this new drug popping up, he expects that number to rise.

“We’re seeing people who are overdosing not just off fentanyl, we’re seeing mixtures of methamphetamine fentanyl mixtures, marijuana fentanyl mixtures,” Smith said. “A lot of it has to do with cross-contamination from individuals who are selling drugs or contaminating other drugs with fentanyl. So to see carfentanil, which is more potent, is concerning.”

Smith also said lylazen, a horse tranquilizer drug, is also becoming popular. Smith said this drug, however, is not an opioid so Narcan does not respond to it.

“The best thing I think we can do right now is try and educate people,” Smith said.

Smith said the big concern here is cross-contamination. He said he wants to make the public aware of the dangers of carfentanil and the impacts it can have on communities.