What Is Gray Death?
Gray death is a powerfully fatal substance combining a variety of different drugs. The gray, chalky-like substance appears like “concrete mixing powder” or chunks. Those taking it can find the drug in tablet or pill form. The drug cocktail is usually consumed by:
- Oral ingestion
Although the ingredients have varied based on different reports, it is comprised of several types of fatal opioids. Common ingredients in a batch include heroin, carfentanil, fentanyl, and U-47700. U-47700, called pink, is fatal and has killed 47 people in Texas in former years. Drugs like heroin, carfentanil and fentanyl are extremely addictive and harmful opioids that can cause fatal overdoses on their own. Mixing them together and including other chemicals only intensifies the effects and dangers of the substance.
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What Is Gray Death Made Of?
What’s in a batch of gray death can be unknown. A batch can contain opioids, stimulants, and other substances. If a batch contains carfentanil—an elephant tranquilizer that is 100 times the potency of fentanyl—this substance can increase the likelihood of a fatal overdose. Similarly, he or she can have a different experience based on what is in the batch. Someone expecting a more intense combination of drugs may be disappointed if they don’t suffer expected symptoms associated with extremely potent opioids.
Although gray death can be consumed by smoking it, the harmful ingredients make it so lethal, some reports warn against touching the drug. Ingredients found in the drug like carfentanil can cause death by being exposed to the skin or inhaled. Unfortunately, police who seize the drugs and EMT staff have to be careful not to touch batches of the drug, as they can die or need medical attention due to exposure.
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Batches of gray death were confiscated throughout some of the American South, specifically Georgia, Alabama, and Florida and other states like Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The challenge with this drug is the user not knowing what is in the chemical cocktail, hence fatal overdoses. The state of Georgia reported 17 cases of gray death overdoses. Additionally, Georgia authorities seized 50 batches of the drug in a 4 month time span in previous years.
Some ingredients found in gray death like heroin, carfentanil, fentanyl, and U-47700 have individually contributed to America’s opioid crisis. The abuse of opioids has been responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 Americans in 2014, climbing to 70,980 deaths in 2017. The numbers have increased more recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been ongoing research on the amount of fatalities that occurred due to gray death. Those taking the drug are at extremely high risks of overdosing. The body cannot process the potent mixture of the opioids, let alone process harmful opioids like heroin, carfentanil, and fentanyl independently.
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While gray death is sought out for its ability to cause intense euphoric feelings, the chemicals can produce harmful and painful effects. The most commonly reported effects include:
- Shallow breathing
- Heart failure
- Fatal overdose
- Shallow breathing
- Clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Constricted pupils
Because of the addictive nature of the drug, those taking it are likely to experience cravings and withdrawals if they taper use or discontinue use. Once cravings and withdrawals set in, this means the individual would have to consume more amounts to feel the effects of the drug. By this time, someone should seek professional assistance. Going cold turkey for such an addictive substance is guaranteed to cause disruptive and uncomfortable side effects, and possibly an overdose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gray Death Treatment
Gray death addiction treatment would include medications used to treat opioid abuse. Drugs like Naloxone, also called Narcan, have been used to save the lives of those who have overdosed on opioids. Reversing the impact of gray death takes 5 to 10 doses of Narcan to feel its effects.
Narcan is available in a nasal spray via prescription and in shot form, and has been deemed the “save a shot.” Despite its availability, it is unknown how Narcan helps with gray death batches that contain cocaine or heavily potent chemicals like fentanyl. Much research is still being done, but generally Narcan is the best option to treat an opioid overdose. In addition to Narcan, someone needing to uncover the root cause of opioid addiction can gain clinical care through counseling and 12-Step groups. All of these combined approaches to treatment can be of great benefit when under the care of a qualified medical professional.
Get Help Before It’s Too Late
Gray death is a dangerous substance requiring hands-on care and monitoring. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, help is available. Contact a qualified treatment provider for free and get the help you deserve.