A new toxic substance that resembles concrete mixing powder and is being referred to as ‘gray death’ was recently linked to several deaths in Georgia. An analysis of the new gray substance was conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory after the fatal overdoses occurred across the state, particularly in Cobb County, Fulton County, and Clayton County.

“In the last two weeks, we have seen approximately ten cases, statewide, of this gray powder material,” said Deneen Kilcrease, manager at the chemistry section of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab. “We’ve seen this substance from the northern part of our state, all the way to our coastline, and the southern part of our state. We’re seeing it mostly in the metro-Atlanta area, but it is very concerning to us because of the number of opiates that it contains and the concentrations that they’re in. So, we need to get the word out from a public safety standpoint.”  

gray death
Courtesy of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

So far, the toxic cocktail of opiates found in the gray drug have varied slightly, but the powder often contained high concentrations of U-47700, heroin and a blend of multiple fentanyl-based drugs. In terms of its appearance, the new drug “has a varied texture from light/powdery to chunky/rock like,” according to Nelly Miles, public affairs director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Although the crime lab has examined the substance, they are currently waiting for the tests results to determine whether or not the gray drug is responsible for the overdoses.

“Right now, it is just too early and the autopsy results are not in to confirm if the ‘gray death’ has been responsible for the overdoses,” Kilcrease said. “But I can tell you that last year, here in Georgia, there were 141 deaths from fentanyl and nine deaths from U-47700.”

Since both fentanyl and U-47700 were found to be in ‘gray death,’ the automatic assumption made by local authorities is that there is a connection between the new drug and the recent overdoses.

gray death drug
Courtesy of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

There are not any sustainable indications regarding where the drug is coming from so far, but according to Kilcrease, recent reports from different local federal organizations have suggested that most new designer drugs come from… (continue reading)