Georgia is grappling with mass drug overdose. Nearly a dozen overdoses and four deaths have occurred in central and south Georgia in just two days. All the overdose cases and deaths are linked to an unknown street drug, which apparently comes in the form of a yellow pill.
According to health authorities in Georgia, this is the largest mass opioid overdose in the state’s history. A health official told CBS News that at least seven overdose patients were currently on ventilator support.
Georgia Drug Overdose
Officials shared that they were waiting for the test’s results to ascertain the cause of the Georgia drug overdoses and deaths. According to local officials, many overdosed patients confided to doctors that they fell ill after consuming yellow pills that were purchased off the street.
“This is something we have been fearing would happen over a period of time. This is a national issue,” Dr. Patrick O’Neal, director of the state Department of Public Health, shared.
The authorities identified two of the four individuals who succumbed to death after overdosing on the unknown street drug. Bibb County coroner Leon Jones revealed that 52-year-old Gregory Mitchell died due to opioid overdose on Tuesday, June 6, morning and 36-year-old Amirrah Gillens succumbed to death on Sunday, June 4.
In just 48 hours, Emergency workers attended to several drug overdose reports from Perry, Centerville, Albany, and Warner Robins. Chris Hendry, the chief medical officer at Navicent Health in Macon, confirmed that a new drug was introduced to the community, which was the reason behind this havoc.
“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,” shared Hendry.
Unknown Street Drug Causes Havoc In Georgia
Considering neither health officials nor the police have any information on the unknown street drug and its sources, the Bibb County Sheriff David Davis requested people having any information on the new drug to come forward and share the same with the authorities.
The health officials stated that most of the overdosed patients came into the hospitals unconscious. Most patients who were brought in had slurred speech and had trouble breathing. Some overdose victims were put on ventilators to help them breathe and some were administered “aggressive” doses of antidotes such as naloxone or Narcan.
Rising Number Of Drug Overdose Cases In The United States
According to a New York Times report, the leading cause of death among Americans under 50 years is drug overdose. Death related to drug overdose increased by almost 19 percent from 2015 to 2016, which is by far the largest increase till date. The number of deaths increased from 52,404 to 59,000.
In the state of Georgia, 17 people succumbed to death due to drug overdose in the first four months of 2017 after consuming two manufactured drugs.