Attorney General: Rome among areas where counterfeit pills containing fentanyl reported; coroner’s office has seen five suspected cases since Jan. 1.

Attorney General: Rome among areas where counterfeit pills containing fentanyl reported; coroner’s office has seen five suspected cases since Jan. 1.

An alert has gone out fromĀ Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office concering “a suspected cluster of overdoses related to counterfeit pills which may contain fentanyl.” In addition to Richmond County and Chatham County, Carr says reports from the Georgia Department of Public Health also indicate concern in Rome/Floyd County.

And for good reason. “One possible, unconfirmed case has been reported in the Rome area and that investigation is continuing,” according to Public Health.

But going back to the first of the year, the Floyd County Coroner’s Office has had 16 overdose cases — from both prescription medication and others on the street — and 40 percent of those have been fentanyl-related, says Sgt. Chris Fincher of the Floyd County Police Department.

He cautioned anyone to avoid taking pills that are not prescribed. ThoseĀ  prescriptions, he says, are regulated and the issue has been with those taking pills given to them by others. Most prescriptions are coated and even covered, he says; anything “chalky” should be treated as suspect.

And the use of fentanyl is becoming more common, Fincher says, and the impact on those who’ve never used opiods before is starting. They can suffer both cardiac and respiratory reactions with some leading to death, he says. It isn’t until the autopsy that officials learn the trigger was fentanyl. A recent trend has seen it mixed with meth.

As for availability, Fincher cites a case within the past six months where a suspect was arrested who had 1,000 fentanyl pills in his possession as well as 300 ecstasy pills.

For more: Georgia Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

 

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