SWGA drug agents fight opioid epidemic - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

SWGA drug agents fight opioid epidemic

Drug agents in South Georgia want to put a stop to the increase in overdoses. (Source: Mid-South Narcotics Task Force) Drug agents in South Georgia want to put a stop to the increase in overdoses. (Source: Mid-South Narcotics Task Force)
Crisp County's coroner said that over the past month he has seen more drug-related deaths than usual. (Source: Mid-South Narcotics Task Force) Crisp County's coroner said that over the past month he has seen more drug-related deaths than usual. (Source: Mid-South Narcotics Task Force)
"This past year we've seized over 3,000 pain pills," said Maj. Jeff Youngblood, Mid-South Narcotics Task Force. (Source: WALB) "This past year we've seized over 3,000 pain pills," said Maj. Jeff Youngblood, Mid-South Narcotics Task Force. (Source: WALB)
Paramedic Supervisor James Rhodes has worked with Crisp County EMS for nearly 27 years. (Source: WALB) Paramedic Supervisor James Rhodes has worked with Crisp County EMS for nearly 27 years. (Source: WALB)
"Some of the drugs that are out there now, it requires massive, massive doses of narcan," said David Edwards, Director of Crisp Co. EMS. (Source: WALB) "Some of the drugs that are out there now, it requires massive, massive doses of narcan," said David Edwards, Director of Crisp Co. EMS. (Source: WALB)
CRISP CO., GA (WALB) -

Drug agents in South Georgia want to put a stop to the increase in overdoses over the past year.

Crisp County's coroner said that over the past month he has seen more drug-related deaths than usual.

EMTs and paramedics in Crisp County said they haven't seen much of an uptick in overdoses lately.

However, that doesn't mean more drugs aren't on the streets.

"This past year we've seized over 3,000 pain pills," said Maj. Jeff Youngblood with the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force.

Youngblood has worked in narcotics for 28 years.

"Up until the last two years, I've probably worked one heroin case, and now we're seeing it on a regular basis," said Youngblood.

Youngblood said opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and heroin are rising on the streets in Southwest Georgia.

He said it is the rising cost of pain pills making people turn to heroin.

Heroin and other opioids can be laced with fentanyl, a much more powerful drug.

"It's going to slow down a person's respiration, slow the breathing down," Youngblood described of opioids' effects on the body.

Paramedic Supervisor James Rhodes has worked with Crisp County EMS for nearly 27 years.

Rhodes said he and his coworkers have not seen much of an increase in overdoses, and that's a good sign.

However, that doesn't mean it couldn't happen at some point.

"It's kinda sad that folks would want to do that to themselves," Rhodes explained.

Crisp Co. EMTs and paramedics carry NARCAN, a drug that can treat an opioid overdose.

"Some of the drugs that are out there now, it requires massive, massive doses of NARCAN," said Crisp Co. EMS Director David Edwards.

Youngblood said he believes it will take a community effort to stop the opioid epidemic.

"Start with parents teaching their kids at home how dangerous this is," explained Youngblood.

Every officer on the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force carries NARCAN, as well.

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