There have been many news stories over the past few years about a recent rise in deaths due to overdoses of opium-derived prescription drugs and heroin. Many observers have referred to the situation as a national opioid crisis or epidemic.
While some of the reaction to this social problem has focused on therapeutic help for people who have become addicted to painkillers, much of it has centered on enforcement. Some lawmakers have called for a crackdown on suspected drug traffickers, including more arrests and harsher penalties.
Recently, a North Carolina man was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of heroin, among other charges. Police said he was selling the painkiller fentanyl laced with heroin, in a mixture he supposedly called "gray death." His bail was set at a steep $7.5 million.
Other news reports in recent months have used the term "gray death" to refer to a new opioid drug combination that is much more potent than heroin. Some reports say it is so strong that it is dangerous even to touch with a bare hand. Some reports say it can kill a person with one small dose.
The opioid crisis is real, and it is doing real damage to people's lives in North Carolina and across the country. However, there is a danger that the public's reasonable concern about the problem can lead to unreasonably harsh treatment of people accused of drug offenses.
In this atmosphere, it's important for those accused of drug crimes to speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience in defending against drug charges. A defense attorney can help identify the best strategies and procedures to defend against the charges and minimize the damage they can do to a person's future.
Source: WNCN.com, "$7.5 million bond for NC drug dealer selling 'gray death,' deputies say," Oct. 14, 2017