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Doctors say ingredients in super drug ‘gray death’ are used to tranquilize elephants

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Lafayette, La. (KLFY) — Doctors are weighing in on the deadly drug officials are calling “gray death,” and they say the super drug has three key ingredients: heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil.

“For someone to overdose on something like fentanyl, start thinking like a grain of rice,” Windord Amos, a Lafayette addictions counselor said. “For carfentanil, it’s even smaller than that.”

“If a very small amount of carfentanil can bring down an elephant, just think what it will do to a human being,” Dr. Howard Taylor, Director of Toxicology at Addiction Labs of America, added.

Lethal doses of each drug

Medical professionals say fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine or heroin.

Carfentanil, the second key ingredient in “gray death,” is 10,000 times more potent.

“If that heroin is mixed with carfentanil, now they’re doing something that’s been laced with a substance that’s up to 10,000 times stronger,” Amos said.

Dr. Taylor says carfentanil originally was on the market for veterinary use.

He says it’s only supposed to be used to tranquilize large animals.

“A microscopic amount of carfentanil is deadly,” Dr. Taylor said.

When opioid users take “gray death,” they are putting both fentanyl and carfentanil into their bodies.

Doctors say the results are catastrophic.

“We’ve lost more people to opioids in one year than the number of casualties or deaths in the entire Vietnam War,” Dr. Taylor told News 10.

Dr. Taylor says the drugs are more common than people think.

“In our laboratory, about 34% of the samples that are positive for heroin are also positive for fentanyl,” according to Dr. Taylor.

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