Dougherty Co. leaders educate the community about opioid dangers

Dougherty County leaders educating the community about opioid dangers

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Opioid dangers continue to plague many families in South Georgia and Dougherty County leaders want to continue educating the community to prevent deadly drug overdoses.

“Just today, I signed out six overdoses,” said Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler. “These drugs are so powerful we call it a grey death, U4770,” Fowler said.

Fowler told WALB News 10 that he’s had to use that code recently.

“My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones because of drugs,” said Fowler.

It’s a trend that emergency medical officials around the nation and in Dougherty County say they are continuing to see.

“The addiction problem is everywhere,” said Sam Allen with Dougherty County EMS.

The opioid crisis is affecting many communities in South Georgia and leaders said they want to educate more people to prevent losing lives.

“You don’t know what all has been mixed, blended in it and it’s very dangerous and deadly. We’re seeing an increase in fentanyl. It’s taking more Narcan to get patients out of the situation they are in,” explained Allen.

Allen said they have stepped up efforts to treat patients who have turned to deadly street drugs.

“Narcan nasal, we started that on December 7. We’ve now treated 58 patients with Narcan nasal,” said Allen.

EMS officials said a box of Narcan spray can be life saving when they get a call about an opioid overdose, but it doesn’t always save lives.

“At that point, we turn them over to the coroner’s office,” Allen explained.

It’s a crisis that is ongoing, but Angie Barber, the director of the Network of Trust at Phoebe Putney Health System said they will do whatever they can to educate the community by all means.

“Too Good for Drugs is a program that we can offer in any school, church, faith community in the local areas here in the county and work very closely with our educators and our community people who are trained to help others,” said Barber.

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