With the opioid crisis and nation-wide concerns of illicit drug use, it’s no surprise that addiction is a hot topic right now. Many “natural” drugs can be extremely dangerous, and can result in individuals experiencing paranoia, confusion, dizziness, coma, and even death. Synthetic, or man-made, substances pose additional risks, as individuals aren’t aware of everything they are consuming; disproportional doses of drugs and dangerous combinations can lead to lethal consequences. News reports have lately announced a new drug that has hit the market, and it could kill you in one dose.
Known as “grey death”, this drug can be dangerous to even touch with gloves. There have been overdose cases involving this drug in Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio lately – and it seems the drug is a dangerous cocktail consisting of heroin, fentanyl, the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil, and a synthetic opioid called U-47700. Users can inject, swallow, smoke, or snort the drug. The name “grey death” comes from the drug’s appearance, which looks like a concrete mixture that appears as either chunks or rocks. Many scientists are stumped by the color of the drug, as they have stated that none of the drugs mixed should produce that color.
What makes grey death so dangerous is its potency. News reports have revealed that just one flake of carfentanil can tranquilize a 2,000-pound elephant. The “grey death” drug is 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. The drug has been said to be able to float by air and to be absorbed by touch alone. Deneen Kilcrease from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told the Associated Press, “Grey death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis.”
Grey death is very fast-acting, and a lethal dose isn’t even visible. “You need smaller and smaller amounts because [these drugs] don’t get metabolized. They go straight to the brain,” stated Dr. Francesco Leri, a professor at the University of Guelph who studies behavioral pharmacology and neuroscience. Since the drug can be taken in such small doses, many people are sending and receiving packages of it through postal mail. Always be alert as to what you are taking and consult a doctor before consuming any unknown substance. Seeking medical attention beforehand could save your life.
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