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Georgia Attorney General among AG coalition investigating opioid crisis

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia’s Consumer Protection Unit is working with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the nation to investigate whether manufacturers have engaged in “unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of opioids.”

A closer look

The Forsyth County News took an investigative look into the rising number of overdose deaths in Forsyth County in recent years and what is being done locally and nationally to combat the issue at its root. Visit to read Heroin’s Hold.

Nationwide and in Georgia, opioids — prescriptions like OxyContin and Percocet and illicit drugs like heroin —are the main driver of fatal overdoses.

They were involved in 33,091 deaths nationwide in 2015, a number that has quadrupled since 1999.

“America’s biggest drug problem isn’t only on our streets. It is also in our medicine cabinets,” Carr said in a news release. “From June of 2016 to May of 2017, the total number of legal opioid doses prescribed to Georgia patients surpassed 541 million, and we are losing far too many citizens as a result of drug overdoses.”

Currently, 55 Georgia counties have overdose rates higher than the national average.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 222 people in Georgia died from heroin overdoses in 2015. Another 284 died from synthetic opioids.

In 2014, 153 fatal heroin overdoses were reported in Georgia — marking a 37.5 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

Synthetic opioids killed 174 people in 2014, a 64.7 increase from 2014 to 2015.