Too hot to handle: Deadly opioid combo surfaces in Louisiana

A fatal new drug combination of heroin cut with synthetic fentanyl has emerged that may be too dangerous to even touch, a police department in Louisiana is warning the public, according to CBS News.

A spokesperson for the St. Mary's Parish Sheriff's Office in southern Louisiana told CBS affiliate KLFY-TV that the substance looks like "chunks of concrete." It can also be found in powder form. In addition to heroin and fentanyl, the substance may also include carfentanil, an opioid analgesic and a tranquilizing drug, and U-47700, another synthetic opioid.

Nicknamed 'gray death,' the substance can be injected, swallowed, smoked or snorted. It first appeared in Georgia and Alabama in 2017 and also has been found in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

According to Drugs.com, gray death "can be extremely toxic, even in the smallest quantities, which could rapidly lead to fatal respiratory depression."

It can be absorbed through the skin and should only be handled with protective gloves.

More articles on opioids:
Curbing opioid prescriptions should center on pain management as most physicians stick to guidelines, study shows
Medicaid expansion linked to drop in opioid overdose deaths
How Houston Methodist reduced opioid prescriptions by nearly 77%

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