News 3 Investigates: Deadly Drug Easily Bought Online

New man-made pain killers pose accidental overdose risk to first responders

GEORGIA (WSAV) — A pill, 50 times more powerful than other opioid painkillers has already caused four deaths in South Georgia within the past 48 hours.

As News 3 found out, it may be easier to get these pills than you would think.

“When it’s taken, the patients are experiencing significant and severe decreased levels of consciousness and respiratory failure,” said Dr. Chris Hendry, Navicent Health Chief Medical Officer.

Doctors in Macon are seeing overdoses coming in bunches, all due to prescription drugs with a dangerous new twist.

“It appears it will be somewhat of a pill press,” said Steve Blunt of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Drug Squad. “Dyeing and then pressing Fentanyl powder.”

Blunt says most users are buying it, but do not know the components or strength of the pill purchased.

“It is the worst thing we’ve ever seen,” says Blunt. “Any drug will kill you with prolonged use. This one will kill you first time if you use it.”

Effingham County has dealt with at least fifteen overdose deaths in the last two years.

Sheriffs believe Fentanyl may have already played a part in those.

“[Dealers) are cutting it with heroin, because it’s cheaper than heroin, selling it as heroin.” details Blunt.

But this new pill is even easier and cheaper to find.

“It’s coming from China online, and yesterday when I knew you were coming I went online and could have ordered a kilo of Fentanyl,” said Blunt.

A kilo would make more than a thousand pills to sell to unsuspecting users at just over $10,000.

News 3 went online and in seconds found a half dozen companies, all from China, all selling a new version of supposedly “legal” Fentanyl powder.

“It makes our job almost impossible,” Blunt stated. “I can stop drug dealers coming out of Atlanta or try to, but if FedEx is bringing it to them, I don’t know how to stop it.”

To echo just how dangerous Fentanyl can be, an Ohio police officer had to be hit with a dose of the anti-overdose drug Naloxone after he just brushed some off his uniform.

Because of that danger, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie says all his deputies will be trained, and his cars will be outfitted with the life-saving drug, hopefully within the next month.

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