2017 saw the national drug overdose death rate rise to an estimated 72,306 souls, which unfortunately is a new national record. A major difficulty in combating the Opioid Epidemic lies in the seemingly endless emergence of new opioid drugs or combinations that hit the streets each year.
Here we take a look at yet another new opioid combination hitting the streets, (appropriately) known as “gray death”.
What is Gray Death?
Gray death is the street name for a new drug combination that can contain a number of different opioids. Its nickname derives from its gray, concrete-like color. Gray death varies in consistency from a hard rock to a fine powder.
Gray death has been shown to contain a variety of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and a substance known as U-47700. (1)
Why is Gray Death so Dangerous?
Heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and U-47700 are all extremely dangerous in isolated form. Fentanyl, which is about 100 times stronger than morphine, was responsible for over 29,000 overdose deaths in 2017. Carfentanil, on the other hand, is approximately 10,000 stronger than morphine and thus one of the most dangerous narcotics in existence.
U-47700 is a designer drug synthetic opioid that has never been properly tested on humans, and thus has completely unknown long-term effects. That gray death contains an unknown combination of these incredibly dangerous drugs highlights why it is one of the most dangerous drugs to ever hit the streets. (2)
What does this mean for the Opioid Epidemic?
The Opioid Epidemic has been so devastating compared to other drug epidemics because of the ability of drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil to cause death in incredibly small doses (micrograms).
In other words, the probability of the next dose killing a user is greater than it ever has been. Gray death is yet another escalation of this disturbing trend, with users have absolutely no ability to safely determine if the next dose will be the one that ends their lives or not.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.