Have you heard of a new street drug called Gray Death? It’s one of the deadliest new opiates to make its way onto US streets, and just as deadly the name implies, users are more likely to overdose, go into respiratory arrest and die than even have time to experience the high than they are seeking. The lethal cocktail often goes for under $15 on the street, making it attractive to opiate abusers and people experimenting with drugs who may be unaware of how deadly it can be.
“Gray death” was named after its appearance, which US chemists still puzzle over as they can’t find the reason for the gray color. No other opioid being sold legally or illicitly looks like Gray Death. It can be identified through its pasty, cement-like quality; although the contents have varied depending on which region the drug has been purchased in. In all cases, the contents of the drugs have been incredibly powerful. Just a speck of the substance poses a serious hazard to first responders and others who try to help users who have overdosed, requiring many tubes of Naloxone, an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of overdoses. Naloxone has had little effect in cases where users have ingested, smoked or snorted the drug, and there are reports of overdoses that could not be reversed even after using four or five tubes. In fact, most of the detection of this drug moving to the illicit drug market comes from state morgue reports.
This drug may sound like an exaggeration, but even Snopes.com has verified that news reports of Gray Death aren’t exaggerating; the drug does exactly what its name implies. Wherever this drug came from, there was never any intent to get users merely high. It’s a shortcut to overdose death by users who have never heard of the drug or think it’s the next new opioid with a catchy name to try. Those in active addiction, their friends and family should be aware that this substance is one of the deadliest drugs out there.
News stations have recently done short reports in passing on this deadly drug, described as 10,000 more potent than morphine and about 100 times more dangerous than fentanyl. The concoction contains a very deadly mix of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil —a drug previously only known for being used to sedate elephants, which typically weigh about 6,000 to 15,000 pounds, more than the average vehicle in the United States. Other drugs have been detected in different variations of the drug across the country, but the consensus is the same: this is not a drug that can be used more than once.
“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 last May.
In other words, gray death is a drug that, when used, is likeliest to be a one-time use and lead to immediate death.