An illegal opioid combination of powerful and dangerous drugs (heroin, fentanyl and more potent designer versions of fentanyl, carfentanil, U-47700, and possibly other opioids or other unidentified drugs). But what’s exactly in this ‘gray death’ you can’t know. It can be a toxic mix of other narcotics or illegal drugs, too. ‘Gray death” led to several fatal overdoses in the U.S. in 2017.
This new drug is said to be extremely dangerous. Dangerous to even touch with gloves is being eyed in overdose cases across Georgia, Alabama and Ohio. Investigators say that it can kill users with a single dose.
“Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told The Associated Press.
A gray death user would have no idea what does the mix contain and the mix is often fatal. The number of cases of abuse or overdoses of Gray Death that exist are also not known. Avoid contact with bare skin because furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 are lethal at very low doses, law enforcement, health care providers, and the public should use extreme caution when handling these drugs. Carfentanil, which is a large animal tranquilizer often used to anesthetize elephants, has been found in the product. If carfentanil is mixed in the product, it could add to the rapidly lethal effect. Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
A spokeswoman for the agency told the Associated Press that they have already witnessed 50 overdoses cases involving gray death over the past three months. Users can inject, swallow, smoke or snort the drug, which varies in consistency and looks like a concrete mixture.
‘Gray death’ has a gray or ashen color and can appear as a finer powder like concrete mixing powder, or in chunks or rocks. It can be consumed in a variety of ways, by injection, smoking, snorting, consumed orally. The users goal is to gain the euphoric effects of opiates; however, the lethal depressive effects on breathing effects probably take over quickly with this illegal drug.
According to the GBI, effects include: shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, lethargy, cold or clammy skin, loss of consciousness, heart failure.
The Ohio coroner’s office told the news agency that a compound similar to gray death has been coming in for months, with at least eight samples matching the drug mixture. A user can buy the lethal cocktail for as low as $10 on the street, Forbes reported.
“You don’t know what you’re getting with these things,” Richie Webber, who overdosed on fentanyl-laced heroin in 2014, told The Associated Press. “Every time you shoot up, you’re literally playing Russian roulette with your life.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and law enforcement departments around the country have been on high alert for fentanyl-laced opioids, which are behind an increasing number of unintentional overdose fatalities in multiple states across the United States. In 2015 alone, opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, killed more than 33,000 Americans.
“Normally we would be able to walk by one of our scientists, and say ‘What are you testing?’ and they’ll tell you heroin or ‘We’re testing fentanyl,’” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told The Associated Press. “Now, sometimes they’re looking at it, at least initially, and say, ‘Well, we don’t know.’”
“This is not a drug that you use to get high — if you put this drug into your body you will die, it will kill you,” Clay Hammac, Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task commander, told ABC 33 40.