Street drug overdoses sweep central Georgia over past 48 hours

Faith Castro
June 6, 2017

At least four people are dead and dozens more have been hospitalized after overdosing on what authorities in Georgia believe to be Percocet.

First responders say patients were unconscious or unresponsive and had difficulty breathing or stopped breathing, and many of them required ventilators.

Percocet contains acetaminophen and the opioid oxycodone, and is used to ease severe short-term pain.

"Testing is being done to identify the pills and the ingredients", the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said emergency responders had to administer "massive doses of naloxone" to battle the effects of the drug.

The pills and the ingredients are now undergoing testing.

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GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles tells the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that reports are still coming in and the number of deaths could increase.

The spate of overdoses occurred in middle and southern Georgia, including the cities of Macon, Warner Robins, Centerville, Perry and Albany, the health department said.

Nydam described the drugs in a statement as "a unsafe, potentially lethal substance contained in street drugs".

Heroin-related deaths also spiked in that time period, going from 3,036 in 2010, an 8 percent share of all overdose-related deaths, to 12,989 in 2015, a 24.3 percent share of all overdose-involved fatalities, the NCHS found.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is based in Atlanta, has estimated that 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses.

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