ATLANTA – Georgia is witnessing a dangerous and deadly evolution of illicit drugs.
Georgia health officials are warning of a recent spike in emergency room visits due to fentanyl overdoses.
The latest surge has mostly taken place in rural hospitals. But it’s clear that the fentanyl problem in Georgia is getting worse.
Cocaine mixed with fentanyl is causing an increase in overdoses and overdose deaths among recreational drug users.
Michelle Frey said Channel 2’s Tom Regan that her son died in February 2021 after taking what he believed to be cocaine. But tests revealed it was mostly fentanyl.
“I knocked on his door and got no response. I found him face down in his bed,” Frey said. “(It was) pure fentanyl with just a dash of cocaine. It wasn’t a drug he used before. I know he didn’t want to die.
The Georgia Health Department said that between mid-February and March of this year, at least 66 people arrived at the emergency room after an overdose of fentanyl mixed with illicit drugs.
They said fentanyl is not only found in coke, but also in methamphetamine and heroin.
State officials said fentanyl was also found in counterfeit pills disguised as painkillers and muscle relaxants.
“Any medicine you don’t get from your pharmacy is dangerous medicine at this point,” said Laura Edison of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The state health department tracks drug overdoses, including those involving fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Often, overdoses occur in clusters. Last May, five people died in Atlanta from a cocaine-fentanyl mixture.
“It’s very prevalent in illicit drugs at the moment. We are seeing a lot of overdoses and a lot of deaths as well,” Edison said.
Another troubling piece of information from state health officials is that there have been reports of fentanyl being mixed in cannabis products.
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