• Georgia officials seeing 'dramatic increase' in opioid abuse

    By: Russell Colburn, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    On Friday, investigators and judges descended on Jekyll Island, Georgia, to work together to tackle the opioid epidemic.

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is calling the situation a crisis.

    This week in Georgia, little yellow pills, posing as Percocet, killed at least four people and sickened dozens of others.


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    Acton News Jax spoke exclusively with Nelly Miles of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

    “What we are seeing is a dramatic increase in opiate abuse, and it is just across the board,” Miles said. “At one point, it was just prescription pills, then it moved to heroin, and now we're seeing counterfeit pills that are being basically knocked off to look like the real thing.”

    Miles said the problem is spreading all over Georgia.

    Just south of the Georgia-Florida border, the Nassau County Sheriff's Office said it has seen a 50 percent increase in opioid overdoses from last year.

    In St. Johns County, deputies are responding to calls with Narcan to block the effects of the drugs.

    Commander Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said in the last two weeks, deputies saved a woman in her late teens.

    “The deputies who responded believe that there was a very good potential that the individual was already deceased, but they utilized the Narcan, and in fact, that individual came back,” Mulligan said.


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    But so many don't.

    That's why investigators are working to get the drugs off our streets.

    “The problem has just gotten out of hand, and unfortunately as a result of it, our overdose deaths have skyrocketed,” Miles said.

    The GBI said many of these pills, hiding much more dangerous substances, are being made overseas and shipped here.  

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