More details in suspected Buckhead drug overdoses released

Police investigating possibility that cases were due to 'Gray Death' street drug

ATLANTA -- The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office has released some more details about a suspected drug overdose at a Buckhead hotel last week.

Authorities said a 37-year-old man from Sandy Springs was found dead at the AC Hotel on Wiecua Road on Friday.  Authorities believe he may have died the previous day. Toxicology tests are pending.

He was one of two men found dead of suspected drug overdoses less than two miles apart in Buckhead on Friday.

Another man was found in an apartment at Post Chastain Apartments, on Chastain Drive off of Roswell Road. The medical examiner has not yet identified that man.

According to the incident report, there was no sign of forced entry at the apartment, valuable items remained, and a powder appearing to be heroin was in full view on a book cover on a floor. Next to a coffee table was a "glass marijuana pipe and what appeared to be a rock inside it and several green pills," the report said.

Per police, the man on Chastain Drive may have been dead for several days. Authorities received a call on Friday afternoon requesting a welfare check, and they found the body.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner continues to investigate the causes of the deaths.  The GBI Crime Lab is analyzing the powder found in the apartment to see if it contains Fentanyl.

Last week, several deaths and more than a dozen overdoses were blamed on a lethal street drug. The GBI said yellow pills labeled as "Percocet" were actually a mixture of two synthetic opioid components. One is a fentanyl analogue not previously tested by the GBI Crime Lab.  The GBI said the fentanyl analogue had not previously been identified by their lab.

There is currently no information that the deaths were connected.

Two weeks ago, two young men died of suspected overdoses within a half-mile of each in Lawrenceville. 

MORE | Wave of overdoses leave 4 dead, dozens hospitalized in Georgia

RELATED | How to tell the difference between fatal 'yellow pills' and real Percocet

GRAY DEATH

In the Atlanta metro area, there have been at least one death and several overdoses attributed to a substance authorities are calling "gray death"

RELATED | 'Gray Death' named as killer in Brookhaven overdose

In Brookhaven, a woman overdosed on Feb. 10; tests determined that she died from the "gray death" substance.

"We've seen heroin, we've seen heroin mixed with fentanyl, but where this is going is just something that really has everyone on high alert," said GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles.

"The gray material was found to contain a toxic cocktail of opiate drugs," the GBI said in a statement. "The ingredients vary but often contain heroin, fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and U-47700 mixed together in the same powder.  The solid material has the appearance of gray concrete mixing powder, with texture variations from light/powdery to chunky/rock-like." 

It's gray and has the look of concrete. Per reports, the drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, 100 times more powerful than fentanyl, and includes an elephant tranquilizer called Carfentanil

Gray death is transdermal, which means it can be absorbed through the skin, nose, and eyes. It's so potent that GBI lab safety gear had to be upgraded to handle the drug, according to Deneen Kilcrease.

"We took it a step further we now require a face mask, particle mask," Kilcrease said.  "We also mandate a buddy system" so that one person is never handling the drug alone.

VERIFY | How dangerous is it to touch the drug fentanyl?

RELATED | The Triangle is growing: A look inside the heroin problem in metro Atlanta

© 2017 WXIA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment