By Maria Catanzarite

The new drug mixture “gray death” is behind many overdoses nationwide. One of its ingredients, carfentanil, can be deadly: the Indiana Department of Homeland Security described a lethal dose as being the size of a tiny pebble. This notion particularly alarms first responders, who could die while trying to revive carfentanil overdose victims.

“It’s just one more dimension of having to be alert to everything in your surroundings – now down to almost microscopic levels,” said Asst. Chief Bill Thompson, of the St. Joseph County Police.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), carfentanil
is an opioid commercially used to sedate large animals. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Thompson said up until recently, the drug was easy to obtain overseas. China, however, put sanctions on how internet retailers sold carfentanil.

“It is likely we have it in this community.” 
The assistant chief remarked St. Joseph County Police became aware of carfentanil within the last few months to a year.

“It’s fairly recent,” he said. “This is an area of public safety that moves pretty fast.”

While he and South Bend firefighters have not encountered carfentanil cases, Thompson believes the drug is lurking.

“I think, just based on some of the information we are getting from overdose cases, that it is likely we have it in this community,” he stressed. “It’s something we have to be prepared for.”

Read more at WNDU

Another warning from first responders about ingredient in ‘gray death’ drug