Deadly ‘Gray Death’ heroin makes its way to Greenwood

(WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — In Johnson County, prosecutors are warning about the latest deadly concoction of heroin. It’s called “gray death,” a drug so strong that police say people have died just touching it.

Greenwood police say a woman there and her boyfriend thought they were buying regular heroin, but instead ended up with gray death. Almost immediately after taking it, things went very wrong for the woman.

19-year old Hanna Richard and her boyfriend 21-year-old Brandon DeBlaso snorted what they thought was regular heroin, according to Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth. Immediately, Richard overdosed, but Fillenwarth says officers revived her using Narcan.

One’s reaction to gray death is unpredictable. It looks like a concrete mixture, and that’s where it gets its name.

Police say gray death is a cocktail of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil – which is commonly used as a large animal tranquilizer- and a synthetic opiod called U-47700. U-47700 is thought to be nearly eight times stronger than morphine.

According to Fillenwarth, just one micro gram can be deadly.

“Not everybody dies from it. But enough people are having some weird reaction where all the sudden they just die,” he said.

Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio have all seen cases of overdose deaths. Fillenwarth says it’s just a matter of time before Indiana starts seeing overdose deaths.

“It’s a huge concern because that takes a toll on our entire society; Greenwood, Indianapolis. You have people who are hopelessly addicted to this stuff,” he said.

Prosecutors charged Richard and DeBlaso with a misdemeanor of possession of paraphernalia. However, those charges will be dismissed in exchange for the two going through Greenwood’s Recovery Court program; a comprehensive drug treatment program.

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