Crime

Deadly drugs laced with fentanyl discovered in Russell County

“I thought I was dying,” policeman says of Fentanyl exposure

Police officers exposed to a deadly synthetic opioid tell their story in a warning issued by the DEA on June 6, 2017 by Acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg.
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Police officers exposed to a deadly synthetic opioid tell their story in a warning issued by the DEA on June 6, 2017 by Acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

The Russell County Sheriff’s Office recovered pills that were disguised as the painkiller percocet but in fact contained the deadly drug fentanyl, the office announced in a Facebook post Wednesday evening.

Such pills were first reported in Central Georgia earlier this month.

Percocet is an opioid painkiller that contains a combination of the neurotransmitter acetaminophen and the opioid oxycodone. It is used to treat short-term severe pain, but has seen an explosion of abuse as the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the nation. It is estimated that drug-related deaths topped 59,000 in 2016.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid pain reliever typically approved only for treating cancer pain. It is estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and far deadlier than heroin. There are reports of police dogs overdosing on minute quantities of the drug during raids, and a police station in Duluth, Ga., had to be placed on quarantine after some fentanyl spilled in an officer’s patrol car.

“The public is urged not to handle or ingest any pills that are not prescribed to you and to contact the Russell County Sheriff's Office if you suspect you have come in contact with any of these pills,” the sheriff’s office said.

Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE

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