10/07/2016 12:36 EDT | Updated 10/08/2017 01:12 EDT

Alberta health officials warn of carfentanil after opiod tied to two deaths

EDMONTON — Alberta health officials say two recent deaths confirm an opiod deadlier than fentanyl is circulating in the province.

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Karen Grimsrud says the drug is carfentanil and it is about 100 times more toxic than fentanyl.

It is used to sedate large animals like elephants and Grimsrud says a dose as small as a grain of sand is enough to kill a human being.

Grimsrud says this week Alberta's medical examiner detected carfentanil in the bodies of two Alberta men in their 30s.

Mounties say this summer they seized a cache of carfentanil in Alberta that had the potential to create 50 million lethal doses.

There have been 153 fentanyl related deaths in Alberta so far this year, compared with 139 over the same time period last year.