Author: John Carter

“Gray death” is a drug so dangerous, police say you shouldn’t even touch it

grey death drugs

First responders should immediately call 911 or other emergency personnel. The Recovery Village Columbus offers comprehensive care and treatment for anyone grappling with opioid dependence or addiction. Treatment plans are tailored to your individual needs, address symptoms of withdrawal, and include evidence-based therapies that effectively address opioid dependence.

Narcan, the brand name for naloxone nasal spray, is used to reverse an opioid overdose. For someone who is overdosing, Narcan can restore normal breathing within two to three minutes if breathing has slowed or stopped. Synthetic opiates like the gray death don’t require ingestion—these substances can penetrate the skin (if touched or handled) or enter the airways (if unknowingly inhaled).

Gray Death is a potent and synthetic opioid that’s mixed with other drugs on the street. David Spencer, a spokesperson for the St. Mary’s Parish Sheriff’s Office, told CBS affiliate KLFY-TV that “gray death” is a heroin that has been cut with fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says is 80 to 100 times stronger than heroin.

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And while this is quite concerning, gray death may not be the worst illicit street substance available. Drug manufacturers are always changing ingredients or creating entirely new illegal drugs in an effort to evade legislation and detection by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Webber, 25, said a typical new drug combination he’s seeing is heroin combined with 3-methylfentanyl, a more powerful version of fentanyl.

  1. Another reason for the appearance of drugs like gray death is that foreign chemists producing drugs overseas and sending them to the U.S. can quickly change their formulations to evade U.S. drug laws.
  2. It’s being called “gray death” and the new and dangerous drug combination underscores the ever-changing face of the opioid epidemic.
  3. Fentanyl-related deaths spiked so high in Ohio in 2015 that state health officials asked the CDC to send scientists to help address the problem.
  4. A local police department in Louisiana is warning people about a potentially lethal drug combination called “gray death” — a substance so powerful, they warn you shouldn’t even touch it.

If you’re unsure where to start, talking to a therapist about your addiction is a good place. A therapist can help you unpack the triggers driving you to do drugs, like Gray Death. They can also help you find healthier coping mechanisms for those triggers. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

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Some highly potent drugs, such as fentanyl, are present in gray death and can cause instant overdose and death even in very small amounts. Fortunately, the same tools and methods used to reverse a heroin overdose can be used to reverse a gray death overdose, but the process is more challenging. A gray death overdose might require multiple doses of naloxone (Narcan). Some people will need up to 10 doses to recover,6 which can be a huge problem, since family members or first responders may not have this amount on hand. Depending on the substances found in each batch of gray death, the risk of negative effects varies. Extremely potent batches may cause a person who is using gray death to quickly stop breathing and die.

grey death drugs

It is frequently used to combat respiratory problems brought on by opioid overdose. When using buprenorphine and naloxone to treat overdoses of strong narcotics from the fentanyl group, problems may frequently develop. The action of naloxone is hindered by opioids’ higher affinity for the µ-opioid receptor5.

Gray death: a powerful opioid combination leading to rapid fatality – correspondence

Potential side effects from gray death resemble the side effects of other opioids. In 2017, a new illicit drug showed up on the streets—the gray death. Illicit use and distribution of heroin with fentanyl spiked around the same time, and while this adulterated substance’s risks are widely known, the gray death drug isn’t as understood. Prescription painkillers (opioid medications) have come to the forefront of this epidemic, with record numbers of people abusing them, overdosing on them, and dying from them.

Thankfully, the same methods treatment specialists use to reverse heroin overdoses can reverse overdoses thought to be from gray death, too. However, it’s a more challenging process that may require several rounds of naloxone treatment. Although law enforcement around the nation has confiscated batches of gray heroin since 2012 (known as “gravel”), this isn’t the same substance being discovered today.

Gray death use remains prevalent in the local area and the risk of overdose from this substance is substantial. Larkin said heroin addicts are always chasing a stronger high, no matter the risks. In Ohio, the coroner’s office that serves the Cincinnati area said a similar compound has been coming in for months. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has analyzed eight samples from around the state that match the gray death mixture.

Treatment for Gray Death Addiction

Mix in the powerful painkiller fentanyl, which has 50 times more punch. Add a dash of carfentanil, which is an animal tranquilizer 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and made to be used on tigers and elephants. If someone you know is exhibiting signs of an overdose, seek emergency medical attention immediately. If someone you’re with shows any of the above signs, it can indicate a drug overdose. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products.

Unfortunately, heroin users end up unwittingly serving as the testers for these new products and paying with their lives. The main victims of the rise of gray death are those addicted to opioids. Another reason for the appearance of drugs like gray death is that foreign chemists producing drugs overseas and sending them to the U.S. can quickly change their formulations to evade U.S. drug laws.

Law enforcement officers have overdosed with very minimal contact with the substance. However, other people who don’t abuse substances can also inadvertently become victims—police officers and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) put their lives at risk when responding to an overdose call for help. The effects of gray death are so potent it’s been known to cause death by simply touching the substance, and first responders have been caught in its deadly wake.