ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The White House drug czar has sounded the alarm about a dangerous new drug that is spreading across the country.

The Officer of National Drug Control Policy said that fentanyl mixed with an animal tranquilizer has become and emerging threat to the U.S.

Veterinarians have use xylazine since the 1970s. It causes breathing and heart rates to slow down to sometimes deadly levels.

The combination has been linked to at least 3,000 deaths, mostly in the south, in 2021 alone.

“I absolutely expect it will be declared a controlled substance under these circumstances, and it’s going to accelerate the government’s comprehensive response to this,” said Bridget Brennan, a special narcotics prosecutor in New York City.

The designation will allow the federal government to devote more money and resources to stopping the spread.