Officials: Fentanyl overdoses spreading across Georgia

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FILE – This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. In a resumption of a brutal trend, nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new record high that predates the COVID-19 crisis. The numbers were driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Fentanyl overdoses are spreading across Georgia. Some people are taking pills sold to them as Xanax or Percocet.

Officials say they are finding overdose clusters around Savannah and Columbus.

Most cases initially were found around Augusta.

The state Public Health Department warned of the problem in April. From Jan. 1 to April 19 in Chatham County, there were 336 suspected overdoses.

That compares to 368 in all of last year.

Officials say counterfeit pills also are being found in Chattahoochee, Dooly, Harris, Muscogee, Schley and Taylor counties.

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