A new drug is said to be 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.
The drug is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, and it can take up to 10 hits of a heroin overdose treatment drug to bring back someone from an overdose.
Those are two of the reasons why law enforcement officials are sounding the alarm about “gray death,” a drug police have found in heroin.
The effects are amazing, said Canandaigua Police Detective Dan Visingard. One or two shots of Narcan, which is the course of action for emergency treatment of an OD, is one thing.
“I can’t imagine 10 on somebody,” Visingard said.
Gray Death, which is cheap and easy to get, got its name because it resembles cement and contains a deadly mix. Visingard said he can’t say for certain if the drug has made its way here yet, but “it’s out there” and law enforcement is aware of it and on the lookout for it.
Canandaigua Emergency Squad Chief Matt Sproul said he has not seen the drug in the Canandaigua region.
“We have, however, seen a large increase in opioid overdoses within our area and would like to encourage everyone to be aware that these drugs come in many forms,” Sproul said.
Since Jan. 1, CES has seen close to 40 overdoses so far.
“Many drugs are starting to look like candy and other items for individuals, and the deadly mix of drugs like Gray Death is beginning to complicate resuscitation efforts, leading to the patient’s death,” Sproul said. “When we arrive on a scene, we rarely know the exact drug a person has overdosed on. If we are fortunate enough to revive them, they are often not forthcoming about what drug they took, causing further delay in the correct treatment.”
Bystanders and emergency providers need to be aware of these drugs, Sproul said, as having skin contact can cause serious health issues with the possibility of death.
An Ohio cop accidentally overdosed after touching heroin last week. Investigators said what he touched was laced with gray death.
Visingard said officers and other first responders do take precautions when responding to overdose calls, which he also noted are increasing.
“It’s all around Ontario County,” Visingard said. “It’s not like it’s going away at this point. It’s a tough epidemic.”
— Includes reporting by Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC.