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Wave of overdoses kills 2, leaves dozens hospitalized — Georgia overdoses

Wave of overdoses kills 2, leaves dozens hospitalized — Georgia overdoses

Some people have been found unconscious and were put on ventilators to help them breathe.

Numerous patients had to be placed on ventilators, according to a statement from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation does not yet know the identity of the drug, sold as yellow pills, Miles said.

Percocet is a brand-name drug that contains oxycodone, a powerful opioid painkiller, as well as the analgesic pain reliever acetaminophen. More than 30,000 people overdosed on pain pills and heroin in 2015. Almost a dozen overdoses and four deaths have occurred in central and south Georgia in just two days. All of Navicent Health's overdose patients so far have swallowed the medicine, Hendry said.

"There is a new drug that's surfaced in our community", Hendry said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Hendry urged people not to take prescription drugs unless prescribed by their physician and obtained from a pharmacy. Although the drug is presumed to be a synthetic opioid, the GBI is unable to identify this new drug because no toxicology report has been issued.

State officials said it's the first instance in Georgia of a "cluster" of deaths and illnesses tied to a specific drug.

During the investigation, it was reported that the pills purchased were described being as yellow in color and an oval shape. The GBI said they still don't know what the drug is either. The pills on the street are often laced with many other drugs, she said.

"The substance has not yet been identified but it is extremely potent". "However, when it's taken, the patients are experiencing significant and severe decreased levels of consciousness and respiratory failure".

"There's a compound in the South that's recently popped up - 10,000 times more powerful than morphine - where the normal doses of Narcan are not effective", Hendry said of the medication that is typically used to reverse opioid overdoses.

The health department said tests were being conducted to confirm the link between the counterfeit pills and the overdoses. Death related to drug overdose increased by nearly 19 percent from 2015 to 2016, which is by far the largest increase till date. Overdose fatality rates also increased for all age groups in the last fifteen years. The number of deaths increased from 52,404 to 59,000.


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