“Gray Death” comes in different consistency and often looks like a concrete mix.
(Fox 2 Detroit)
A deadly new drug called “gray death” by the authorities that it is dangerous to touch with gloves is eyed in the overdose cases across Georgia, Alabama and Ohio. The researchers said the high-potency cocktail consisting of heroin, fentanyl, the elephant in the picture carfentanil, a synthetic opioid of the so-called U-47700 — can kill users with a single dose.
“Grey death is one of the scariest combinations I have ever seen in almost 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the section of chemistry of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told The Associated Press.
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A spokeswoman for the agency told the Associated Press that they have seen 50 overdose cases where grey is the death of the last three months. Users can spraying, swallowing, smoking or snorting the drug, which varies in consistency and looks like a concrete mix.
The Ohio coroner’s office told the press agency that has a composition similar to gray death is in the first few months, with at least eight samples correspond to the drug mixture. A user can buy the deadly cocktail for as low as $10 on the street, Forbes reported.
Law enforcement officials believe that a decrease in price of led users to switch from prescription painkillers to heroin, which is often cut with fentanyl — a drug that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. The most troubling to officials is that users do not have a way of telling if the heroin is pure or mixed with other medicines before you use them. The same is true for the gray death.
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“You do not know what you will get with these things,” Richie Webber, who overdose on fentanyl-laced heroin in 2014, told The Associated Press. “Any time you shoot up, you are literally playing Russian roulette with your life.”
With the nation already in the midst of an opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and law enforcement departments across the country are on high alert for fentanyl-laced opioids, which are behind an increasing number of unintentional overdose deaths in multiple states in 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 through one of our scientists, and say ‘What are you testing?’ and they’ll tell you heroin or ‘We are testing fentanyl,'” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told The Associated Press. “Now, sometimes they are looking for it, at least in the first instance, and say, ‘Well, we don’t know.'”
In Alabama, where authorities said that they have a evolution of drug abuse and addiction in the state, they are trying to send a clear message about the danger of the use of gray, dead before it is widely available.
“This is not a medication that you are used to high — if you are taking this drug in your body, you will die, they will kill you,” Clay Hammac, Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task commander, told ABC 33 40.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.