‘Gray Death’ Is the Latest Dangerous Street Drug
published on May 22, 2017 by Gigen Mammoser in healthline
Experts say this new opioid cocktail is a combination of three drugs, each individually more powerful than heroin.
It’s called “gray death” and apparently for good reason.
This dangerous opioid cocktail is responsible for a spate of fatal overdoses in the United States, and its potency has authorities worried.
Named for its ashy color, the drug looks like dry concrete mix. It can also appear in chunks or rocks.
Authorities in states such as Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, and Alabama have reported the drug turning up recently.
Georgia alone has had 17 overdoses related to it, as well as at least 50 incidences involving the drug in the past four months.
A deadly combination of powerful drugs
Despite its relatively uniform visual description, “gray death” isn’t just one drug.
The exact combination of substances that make up the drug appears to vary widely, but powerful painkillers like fentanyl and carfentanil are common, as well as the less well-known designer drug U-47700.
Each of the three drugs are already stronger than heroin, and a combination of any of them is incredibly risky for users.
“Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” Deneen Kilcrease, at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told the Associated Press.
Fentanyl, the most well-known component of gray death, is a synthetic opioid that was first synthesized in 1960.
It has played a prominent role in North America’s current opioid epidemic. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths in the United States alone in 2015 — an increase of more than 70 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The less common carfentanil is primarily used as a sedative for elephants and other large animals.
U-47700, another powerful synthetic opioid, gained significant public attention when it was discovered in the rock star Prince’s bloodstream along with several other opioids, including fentanyl, at the time of the musician’s death.
The allure of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids for drug traffickers lies in their strength.View the full article