A hand lies on the floor after a drug addict overdoses on grey death.

Grey Death: A Mysterious Opioid Cocktail


Sober Recovery Expert Author

A hand lies on the floor after a drug addict overdoses on grey death.

Society can manufacture synthetic chemical compounds more easily now than ever before. College, even high schools students, synthesize simple compounds to finish lab reports and projects. However, there some synthesized compositions largely unknown. One such composition is “grey death”, a concoction of opioids responsible for 50 overdoses in the Atlanta area alone.

What is Grey Death?

The drug is grey and often described like crushed concrete, though no one can pinpoint the cause of its appearance. This is because grey death’s exact composition is mostly unknown, though we do know it is a combination of opioids, such as fentanyl and heroin. The main ingredient is mostly found to be U-47700, an ingredient deadly enough that both Governor Kasich in Ohio and Attorney General Pam Bondi in Florida emergency scheduled it in May and September of 2016, respectively, before the DEA listed U-47700 as a schedule I drug that November. Combine this potent chemical with other opioids and the potential for overdose becomes almost a tragic certainty; for instance, U-47700 and fentanyl were discovered during the autopsy of American guitarist and vocalist Prince.

No chemist can say exactly what makes it grey, but the combination of opioids and heroin can kill users after just one use.

Why It’s Deadly

Grey death is readily absorbable. It is mostly smoked or inhaled, but it can also be absorbed through the skin. Deneen Kilcrease, a chemist with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, says in a CBSnews article that “[The drug] is one of the scariest combinations that [she has] ever seen.

One reason Kilcrease gives for why Grey death’s is particularly lethal is is that drug-users don’t know its ingredients nor its concentrations of those ingredients. Another reason grey death’s combination proves deadly is that U-447700 can be resistant to the emergency overdose antidote naloxone.

Grey death is highly dangerous, containing some of the most lethal chemicals in existence today. These highly addictive chemicals are not only acutely dangerous but also damaging to the body and mind over time. And of course, mixing the chemicals only amplifies the danger.

With drugs like these available, death can come with a single hit. If you or someone you know uses grey death, opioids or heroin, please visit our directory of addiction treatment centers or call 800-772-8219.

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