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Suspected opioid overdose kills one in north Forsyth
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A 31-year-old north Forsyth man recently died from a suspected drug overdose, adding to three deaths and two hospitalizations of Forsyth County residents in late April.

The man, who died sometime between June 12 and 13, was found Tuesday evening around 9 p.m. at a residence in the area of Hurt Bridge and Watson Roads, according to Deputy Pat Sternik, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

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

“He was left in his room the night before and was found the next evening,” Sternik said. “Drugs are suspected – possibly heroin or pills.”

Sternik said Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal nasal spray or shot, was not administered.

In April, three from Forsyth County died due to opioid overdoses, two of which occurred within the county and one that occurred in Walton County.

The April overdoses and deaths were suspected to be connected to a bad batch of heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid analgesic that is compared to morphine but can be up to 100 times more potent.

The sheriff’s office did not say whether Tuesday’s overdose was suspected to be connected to fentanyl.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, 222 people in Georgia died from heroin overdoses, with another 284 dying from synthetic opioids.

Those numbers both represent an increase from 2014.

In 2014, 153 people died statewide from heroin, with the 2015 number marking a 37.5 percent increase in overdose deaths.

Synthetic opioids killed 174 people in 2014, marking a 64.7 percent increase between 2014 and 2015.

Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald III said while he did not have immediate access to the number of overdose deaths in the county this year or last that his office is working with the sheriff’s office to combat the drug crisis.

“There’s a problem out there,” he said. “We have to be resilient to figure out how to be careful so these don’t continue to happen.”