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Gray death, mixture of fatal opioids, causes Ohio overdoses

Ohio continues to be at the center of the opioid crisis facing the nation. A concoction known as "gray death" has been contributing to fatal overdoses in the state.

According to investigators, the gray death drug mixture has a concrete-like appearance that varies from a fine powder to a chunky material. This combination of deadly drugs is significantly contributing to addiction, overdoses and drug charges in Ohio. Here is a look at what gray death is and how it works. 

A deadly mixture

"Gray death" comprises the following drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Carfentanil
  • U-47700

Each of these drugs alone are dangerous and have contributed to fatal overdoses across the country. For example, Ohio has seen a startling spike in fentanyl-related deaths over the years. U-47700, a synthetic opioid, has played a part in dozens of fatal overdoses, particularly in North Carolina and New York. 

Methods of administration

Users can take gray death by injecting, smoking, swallowing or snorting. Most of the time, the exact ingredients and potencies are unknown to those who take the drug. Many drug addicts believe they are only purchasing heroin, only to learn too late that dealers have mixed or laced it with other opioids to constitute gray death. Due to its significant concentration, this mixture can be particularly fatal. Even touching the powder can be dangerous, because it can be absorbed through skin. 

Only one part of the problem

Although gray death is becoming more common, it is only one of the latest trends in the opioid epidemic. It is still common for dealers to mix or lace other illegal drugs in dangerous compounds that are technically not "gray death." For example, fentanyl-laced heroin is one of the most common and deadly drug combinations. 

Taking these drugs can result in deadly consequences. Not only that, but possessing or selling these drugs can also result in serious state or federal drug charges. 

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