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UGA Expert on Opioid Overdoses

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A wave of opioid overdoses has led to at least four deaths in Middle Georgia. In addition, dozens more were hospitalized from Centerville, Warner Robins, Perry, and Albany. Those overdoses were caused by a yellow pill; authorities say people believed to be Percocet.

Dr. Merrill Norton is an addiction  expert in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia. He says the scope of the problem is immense.

“We have lost close to 60,000 people; since 2010 we’ve lost more people to opioid overdose than we lost in Vietnam,” according to Norton. We’re losing more people to opioid overdose than to automobile accidents; it is a huge public health dilemma.”

State officials say this is the first “cluster” of deaths and illnesses in Georgia tied to a specific drug. Authorities are testing the pills.