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‘Gray Death’ in the Poconos?

MAHONING TOWNSHIP -- A dangerous drug called "Gray Death" may be making its way into our area. It's a mixture of drugs including heroin and sometimes an elephant tranquilizer called Carfentanil.

Police in Carbon County believe they may have found that elephant tranquilizer at a home near Lehighton. The discovery has people in the medical community concerned because Gray Death can kill with just one dose.

Over the weekend, police in Carbon County raided a home on Jamestown Street near Lehighton where they believe they found Carfentanil. The powerful elephant tranquilizer is often mixed with heroin and fentanyl to form that new drug Gray Death.

"You know, you have adults dying, kids dying. Heroin is bad enough, and now you add this stuff to it? It's just terrible for the community," said Lehighton resident Erica Engle.

Gray Death first turned up in Pennsylvania last week near Allentown.

Testing will be done to confirm if Carfentanil was found in Carbon County.

Gray Death has been known to kill users with just one dose.

"It definitely concerns me, but I say lock them up and throw away the key. I don't want to deal with this stuff. If you feed them rat poison, they would push it away. I don't understand it," said Dave Morgan.

Gray Death is also a game changer for EMTs. Many first responders are now going out to get training on how to deal with someone who may be overdosing on it.

"How we are dealing with the problem right now is basically rewriting our policies on how to handle it. We have an in-service next week on it," Palmerton Ambulance operations director Scott Wuttke said.

Wuttke says the drug can be dangerous to not only a person using it but also to first responders.

"Basically, what we know is that it is a mixture of different opiate drugs. Not much we know about it right now, but we do know there have been a couple of incidental contacts with first responders out west. Two police officers responded and got it on themselves and both of them ended up unconscious on scene," Wuttke said.

Authorities say the possible discovery near Lehighton of the drugs that make up Gray Death is the only one in our area so far. However, police and emergency personnel in that area plan to keep a close eye out in case it turns up again.

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