ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Public Health confirms a fifth overdose death may be related to fake Percocet pills circulating the streets.
Last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released test results showing the drug is a mix of two synthetic opioids, one of which is consistent with a new fentanyl analogue. The drug has been linked to more than a dozen hospitalizations in central and South Georgia. Sunday morning, another overdose was reported in middle Georgia.
Investigators said the other overdoses announced last Tuesday were reported over a two-hour span in Centerville, Perry, Macon, Warner Robins, and Albany. They also said the drugs are possibly being sold in other areas of the state.
The poisonous pills are out there, but in what quantities remains a mystery. Patients told officials they purchased yellow pills which they thought were Percocet.
"That's the scary part that it may go beyond the cluster that we see in Macon," said Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the Director of Georgia's Poison Center.
"Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing fentanyl into Percocet pills, and oxycodone and other type pills as well, but it's a way for these bad people to make a very good living on the backs of addiction and that's what they are targeting," said Special Agent in Charge Dan Salter, DEA.
"They are actively pursuing the leads and trying to track down where these drugs are coming from, so law enforcement is working around the clock on this," said Nelly Miles, GBI.