Fatal overdoses in Western Pa. blamed on opioid combos called 'Gray Death'

Gray Death
The drug known as "Gray Death" in a dish inside the crime lab at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. It is a new and dangerous opioid combo that underscores the ever-changing nature of the U.S. addictions epidemic.

Lethal mixtures of opioids called "gray death" because of their concrete color and texture have been blamed for 11 fatal overdoses over three days in Western Pennsylvania.

The drug combinations include fentanyl and cocaine; fentanyl and heroin; and fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

They are believed to responsible for the deaths that occurred from Saturday through Monday in and round Erie County, LancasterOnline reported.

The mixtures are also blamed on other deaths in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, the Associated Press reported.

Because the drugs can be absorbed through the skin, any contact with the powder can put people at risk, the Associated Press reported.

Last week a police officer in Ohio suffered an overdose after he came in contact with fentanyl that had been seized during an arrest.

"Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis," Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told the AP.