DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner reports 26 people have died from a fentanyl overdose in 2019. That number is up from 17 deadly fentanyl overdoses in 2018.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Denver Police Department announced undercover officers seized a significant amount of black tar heroin in a brick-like form, which was later determined to be fentanyl. The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is warning the public about the extremely potent and dangerous drug.

“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times more potent than morphine,” officials stated. “Overdoses caused by fentanyl can happen faster and are harder to stop — even touching or breathing in fentanyl can be harmful.”

This is the first time fentanyl has been found in brick form in Denver. The drug can come in many forms, including pills, rock and pure powders, according to officials. When mixed with other drugs, fentanyl can be odorless and tasteless.

“This newly-identified form of the drug may pose a high risk of overdose and death because it can easily be mistaken for heroin,” officials said.

Officials encouraged anyone who misuses substances or knows someone who does, to share this warning and make sure they have naloxone available.

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