EDISON - Heroin laced with a powerful painkiller that has been linked to dozens of deaths in the Northeast has surfaced in New Jersey.

At least seven overdoses and deaths in New Jersey are blamed on heroin containing fentanyl, a drug used as an operating room anesthetic and painkiller. It is nearly 100 times more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl was found in overdose cases from Newark to Cape May in recent months.

The heroin sold in New Jersey is already among the most pure in the country, making the kind laced with fentanyl even more dangerous.

In Ocean County, 112 drug overdose deaths were reported last year, and almost all of them were heroin. That is more than twice as many as the year before.

New Jersey State Police say they are teaming up with law enforcement in neighboring states in an effort to keep fentanyl off the streets.