AUSTIN (KXAN/KSNT) — A street drug called Gray Death may be making its way to Texas. The drug is a mixture of heroin and fentanyl and has a potency 10,000 times greater than morphine. Drug enforcement officers are on alert with the emergence of the dangerous drug.
“There are people out there mixing these synthetic drugs and creating things we have never seen before,” Major Craig Smith, with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The Drug Enforcement Agency said the drug’s potency is so intense it can allegedly kill if you accidentally breathe in its fumes. Travis County deputies used to be able to field-test drugs on-site, but it is too dangerous with fentanyl or possibly gray death. The DEA has requested law enforcement not field-test gray death at all.
“Because a car could be driving by, a gust of wind could go by and all of sudden we got airborne fentanyl,” said Major Smith.
The Sheriff’s Office bought new equipment to keep officers safe. The device used is a hood that vents fumes. Every substation and central booking has one of the special devices to test the substance.
“So the officer can come across the substance and as safely as possible take it to the location where we have the vent hood and then actually do that test inside the vent hood where it keeps everybody safe,” said Major Smith.
While the Travis County Sheriff’s office has yet to see any cases of gray death in Austin, they are not taking any chances. If a deputy suspects exposure to fentanyl, or possibly gray death, they will be rushed to the hospital for observation.