ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler is waiting on four pending toxicology reports and they’re all from drug-related deaths.
Fowler said the county is experiencing a drug problem and we’re only three months in this year. He said the number of drug-related deaths so far this year is shocking. He said not only because of how far we are into the year, but how quickly they’re occurring.
Fowler said this time of year, he normally doesn’t have four pending toxicology reports.
In 2017, from January to March, there were zero drug-related deaths and in 2018, there were two.
The Dougherty County Coroner’s Office has been seeing the deaths in people 25 years old and older.
Fowler said at each of the four cases this year, medication was found on each scene and in one case, a needle. He said this is a problem in Dougherty County and they’re seeing the use of both prescription and illegal drugs.
Fowler also said drugs like heroin, opioids and pills that are bought off the streets are becoming more prevalent.
“Kind of just shocking to see one after another. So, like I said, they got to find another solution and answer to the drug problem. I mean we’re talking, doing PSAs and I think it’s getting to the kids. But we got to reach the adults now,” said Fowler.
In terms of the four pending drug related deaths, Fowler is waiting on the toxicology reports to see the exact drugs used in each case. He said those reports could come any day now.
Fowler said for awhile now, they’ve been trying to spread awareness to children, but now they’re trying to tackle the same awareness with adults.
They’re having a reenactment event on April 10 that’s normally for kids, but now they’re opening it to everyone to sound the alarm.