Jones said Ketchup “had a bunch of pills on him” and they had been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab for analysis.
A cluster of overdoses -- in Bibb, Houston, Monroe and Dougherty Counties -- was recognized a week ago. The majority of them have been in Bibb County.
Jones said there had been 12 or 13 just in Bibb.
“I’ve been (in the) coroner’s office 26 years and EMS 32. I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude in Bibb County. Never,” Jones said. “It’s about as close to an epidemic as you can get. We’ve never seen anything like this.”
State officials issued a public health alert last Monday when four people died and 24 were hospitalized after being found unconscious. Officials predicted there would be more possible overdoes and in just a few days the number of hospitalized increased twice after that first wave.
A preliminary analysis of some pills from Bibb County found they contained two synthetic opioids, including a version of fentanyl. Further testing is being done.
The pill linked to the middle Georgia cluster is unlike any law enforcement has seen.
A rising tide of opioid addiction has been feeding an escalating public health crisis nationally and in Georgia. As dealers have become more sophisticated, officials are also seeing synthetic opioids, with varying chemical compositions.