• Houma, Louisiana authorities say gray death super drug shouldn't be handled
  • Gray death is a mixture of heroin and synthetic opioids 
  • The drug is 10,000 stronger than pure morphine

Just when we thought the illicit drug landscape couldn’t get anymore tragic, desperate or frightening, a new contender emerges to instill a new sense of fear in everyone.

Police in Houma, Louisiana have reported the escalation of a new “super drug” aptly titled “gray death.” While the drug has been around for several years, authorities just recently announced that it was unsafe to touch or inhale. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office reported on Facebook last week it made recent arrests and seized the heroin-fentanyl mixture from suspects traveling across the parish.

USA Today reports that local law enforcement described gray death as having potency 10,000 times greater than morphine. The Sherriff’s Department emphatically urged residents not to handle the substance.

“Call law enforcement and let us deal with it,” Larpenter said in a release. “Harm from illegal narcotics found in homes, on the streets, in schools or in the trash can occur not only if the substance is touched, but also if it is inhaled," advised a member of the department. "This doesn’t apply just to powders. Pills and liquids can also have bad effects on people who touch them if precautions are not taken.”

Gray death is the street name for heroin that has been laced with synthetic opioids. Samples have been found to contain the designer drug U-47700, heroin and opioids including fentanyl and carfentanil. It is taken by injection, smoking, snorting or oral ingestion. It has become increasingly common in parts of Louisiana and is gaining as much popularity as other commonly found drugs like methamphetamine and pure heroin.

In an effort to counteract lethal overdose that has consumed many parts of the state, police started carrying Narcan in recent years. Narcan helps opioid overdose victims wake up and continue breathing within five minutes, allowing time for emergency responders to arrive.

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An unsanctioned supervised injection site operating in the U.S. was studied by researchers in a paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Aug 8, 2017. Above is a representative image of a man injecting himself with heroin using a needle obtained from the People's Harm Reduction Alliance, the nation's largest needle-exchange program, in Seattle on April 30, 2015. REUTERS