AUSTIN (KXAN) — A street drug with a potency 10,000 times greater than morphine may be making its way to Texas. It’s street called Gray Death, a mixture of heroin and fentanyl so powerful it has seasoned drug enforcement officers on alert.
“There are people out there mixing these synthetic drugs and creating things we have never seen before,” said Major Craig Smith with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
The Drug Enforcement Agency is alerting officers the drug’s potency is so intense it can allegedly kill if you accidentally breath in its fumes. Travis County deputies used to be able to field-test drugs on site but with fentanyl or possibly gray death, the DEA has requested law enforcement not field-test the drug at all because it’s too dangerous.
“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.
As a precaution, the Sheriff’s Office bought new equipment to keep officers safe. Every substation and central booking has a special device to test the substance — a hood that vents fumes from the evidence room.
“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 not seen 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 are rushed to the hospital for observation.