Gov. Scott declares opioid epidemic a public health emergency, state braces for ‘gray death’

The drug "gray death" lies in a dish at the crime lab of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations in Decatur, Ga., on Thursday, May 4, 2017. The new and dangerous opioid combo underscores the ever-changing nature of the U.S. addictions epidemic. Investigators who nicknamed the mixture have detected it or recorded overdoses blamed on it in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

(WFLA) – Ion. It’s lethal, packed with heroin, Fentanyl and other opioids.

Cindy Grant, the director of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, is among those bracing for impact. She feels empowered that the governor declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency with an extra $54 million now in the arsenal for treatment and recovery.

Related: ‘Gray death,’ the drug that looks like concrete, kills in one dose

“It’s in every family,” Grant said of the epidemic. “It’s not somebody out on the street. It could be a doctor’s daughter; it could be a lawyer’s son. It’s you, me, everybody.”

Grant is also a mother who lost her son. All it took was one night, one second of experimentation, and with a drug like Gray Death, there is no do-over.

“It’s concerning because it’s so potent,” said Grant.

Dr. Alfred Aleguas from the Poison Control Center at Tampa General Hospital explains that one of the best ways to combat gray death is to arm families, friends and loved ones with the antidote, also known as Narcan, which reverses an overdose.

“I think we’re always ready for that sort of thing. You prepare the best you can,” Aleguas said.

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