Gray death is a drug that has been making its rounds on the street from the East Coast to the Midwest, and unfortunately, more overdose cases are on the rise due to this deadly street drug. Considered to be one of the deadliest drugs to ever hit the streets in the US, experts describe its use as “Russian Roulette” – except your chances of death are about 5 times higher if you choose to experiment with it. This dangerous mixture of heroin, opioids, and unknown substances can kill even experienced, “hardcore” drug users if they even touch a grain of it. So why are people using it? And what facts should the public – drug users, non-users and their families alike – know in order to steer clear of it?
Here are some important facts to know about this dangerous street drug:
- Why is it called “Gray Death?” The name Gray Death for the drug refers to its appearance, which is a gray powder that looks very similar to concrete. The “death” part refers to the danger of using this drug, already confirmed to have caused nearly 100 deaths across the US since April.
- Why is this drug considered so deadly? The DEA says Gray Death contains carfentanil, which is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. This drug, like gray death, can be absorbed through skin contact or inhalation. First responders exposed to the drug have entered cardiac arrest almost immediately. Many deadly overdoses, months after the fact, have found this drug in the user’s system.
- What, exactly, is Gray Death made out of? Carfentanil is just one piece of the puzzle. One of the scariest things about gray death is that the formulation differs vastly across the states where it has been found, and 50 samples gathered in Georgia in the first half of 2017 show that almost no two batches are alike. Even the highest level chemists that study illegal drugs in the US can’t figure out what causes the gray coloring. Often there will be heroin, fentanyl, and U-47700, or “Pink” – another opiate-like drug with high overdose rates that is available from shady drug dealers online.
- Where does Gray Death come from? It’s believed that the drug is manufactured in China and shipped to the US through the internet’s darknet – where many drugs are sold en masse with absolutely no accountability. There have been dealers busted with the drug in Georgia and other states where the drug has been found, but they do not seem to have any ties to US manufacturers.
- Is there an antidote if a user overdoses on Gray Death? Sadly, for many first-responders who use techniques such as naloxone to reverse overdoses, it can be too little, too late because of the toxicity of this drug. Gray Death has the word “death” in it because that is actually an expected outcome of this drug.
- What else do I need to know about this drug? One of the biggest allures of this drug is its price – it goes for cheap, usually about $15. If users knew they were signing up for basically suicide, they wouldn’t use it. Most people using this drug go into overdose immediately – they don’t even feel high as their body struggles to stay alive.
Letting people know the dangers of this drug is very important in terms of harm reduction. While using any opiate is dangerous, Gray Death is the most dangerous drug available and it’s cheap for a reason. People who use this drug once, if they live, won’t seek out a second dose. Most users will require a hospital trip to stay alive, and multiple doses of naloxone. If you are somebody – or know somebody — who may be using opioids, please let them know the dangers of this drug.
There are also many options available for opiate users who want to get help. You don’t have to live a life of addiction and suffering, and you’re not alone. There is always hope and there are many places that can help you reclaim your life. Please use our directory to find a treatment center close to you. All phone calls are 100% confidential.