By: Randy Wimbley
(WJBK) – You can inject, smoke, swallow or snort it. It’s stronger than heroin and is proving to be extremely dangerous.
It looks like concrete but the hard truth is this is one of the most deadly drugs on the street. Aptly named Gray Death, the new opiod is behind a number of fatal overdoses around the country.
“The increase in the death rate we’re seeing, like I always say when I’m out in public, things are going to get worse before they get better,” said Scott Masi from St. John Providence Bright Recovery Center.
Masi has seen just how powerful Gray Death is during a trip to a Georgia treatment center. Someone came in who recently overdosed on the drug.
“When the first responders got to him, thank God they didn’t give up,” said Masi. “It took about six hits of NARCAN before they were able to revive him.”
Gray Death is a combination of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and the active ingredient called U47700 a synthetic opiod – which is now on the government’s list of illegal and dangerous drugs.
So dangerous that it can be absorbed through the skin just by touching it and just a flake of the powder can be fatal.
“I know for a fact there were over 40 overdose deaths associated with that drug across the country in 2016,” said Rich Isaacson, DEA.
Law enforcement officials learned that Gray Death is alive and well in Cincinnati, Ohio and according to the Drug Enforcement Administration it’s showing signs of life, albeit in another form, here in metro Detroit.
“To my knowledge we have not seen it in this Gray Death form where people are saying it’s similar to concrete,” Isaacson said. “But certainly we have seen it in the Detroit area.”
Heroin and opiod related deaths have gone up in recent years snatching more than 1,200 lives in 2015.
Experts say combatting the opiod epidemic starts by closing the gate the addiction for many begins with abusing prescription drugs like Hydrocodone and Oxycontin.