Dozens in Central Georgia have been hospitalized in the last two days from pill overdoses.
A release from the Department of Public Health says they’ve become aware of a potentially lethal substance in street drugs throughout the region.
Overdoses have been reported in Centerville, Perry, Macon, and Warner Robins, but the drugs may also be sold in other parts of the state.
Patients reported purchasing yellow pills believed to be Percocet.
According to a press release from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, the counterfeit pills have the numbers 10/325 on one side and the word PERCOCET in all capital letters on the opposite side.
On the counterfeit pills, the word PERCOCET is not stamped as deep as the manufacturer typically does on their pills.
Also on the counterfeit pills, the imprint of the name is also at an angle.
Navicent Chief Medical Officer, Chris Hendry, called the drug a "danger to the community" at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
According to Hendry, the drug acts fairly quickly once ingested, causing sleepiness, difficulty breathing, slurred speech, and decreased levels of consciousness.
The substance in the pills has not yet been identified, but it’s requiring massive amounts of Narcan to counteract the effects.
"This is very unusual for Middle Georgia. We've never seen this number of overdoses in such a short time like this," said Hendry.
First responders told the Sheriff's department that patients are being placed on ventilators because they have stopped breathing and are unresponsive.
The DPH is working with the GBI and federal agencies on the investigation.
Bibb County Sheriff, David Davis, also addressed the public, asking anyone with information to come forward, and not to worry about getting in trouble with the law.
"I would invite anyone who has a drug problem, or normally takes illegal drugs and is worried right now that they may face some legal repercussions, we're going to let that pass. We need to know who is putting this poison in the community right now. We need the information. We need for anybody who know information to come forward," said Davis.
"These were all bought on the street. These are not from the pharmacy or physicians, and that is the concern for the community," said Hendry.
UPDATE (1:05 p.m.) Bibb County coroner Leon Jones has identified the two people who died due to pill overdoses.
He said Gregory Mitchell, age 52, of Macon died Tuesday morning. His autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Two people have died in the last two days in Bibb County from pill overdoses, according to Bibb County coroner Leon Jones.
He said one death happened on Sunday, the second happened Tuesday morning.
Both deaths were blamed on a pill similar to the painkiller Percocet.
Jones said the sister of the man who died Tuesday also suffered an overdose, but survived.
The GBI is reportedly investigating. GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles reportedly told the Atlanta Journal-Constituion Tuesday morning that two people were dead and dozens hospitalized. When contacted by 13WMAZ, she declined comment.
This is a developing story, check back at 13wmaz.com for updates
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