The latest opioid street mix causing concern: 'Gray death'


Patch noted that while it is not clear if the drug has already entered the Chicago drug scene, Kane County Coroner Rob Russel already issued a warning to residents about the drug.

It gets its name from its concrete-mix-like appearance and varies in consistency from chunks to a fine powder.

A new mix of drugs called "Gray Death" has authorities anxious about an upcoming crisis.

"It has been hard enough to warn citizens of pure heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opiates", Russell said in a statement. "Now all of these substances and more are being combined together and used at an alarming rate, and people are dying because of it".

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Russell says there is no indication Gray Death is being dealt in the Chicago region, but it's been a problem in states like OH and Kentucky. "I have heard that, but we haven't had any experience with that", Marcum says, "but we're in the process of training our officers".

Last fall, the feds banned two compound often found in Gray Death.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has received 50 overdose cases in the past three months involving gray death, most from the Atlanta area, said spokeswoman Nelly Miles.

It can be snorted, injected, swallowed, or smoked, but authorities have warned that simple skin exposure can place a user at risk.

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The combination is the latest in the trend of heroin mixed with opioids, as combos of heroin with fentanyl, for example, have been around for several years in the area.

Fentanyl-related deaths spiked so high in OH in 2015 that state health officials asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send scientists to help address the problem. It's a mix of carfentanil (or carfentanyl) - a mixture of an elephant tranquilizer and heroin. It's a heavy-duty version of fentanyl that's resistant to Narcan and 100 times more powerful than morphine.

No local agency we spoke to has encountered the drug, but the Orlando Police Department tells us it takes toxicology 8-12 weeks to determine the chemical makeup of a drug, so all police departments are on the lookout. "Every time you shoot up you're literally playing Russian roulette with your life".

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