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Message to the Community from Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead Concerning Drug Overdose Incidents

Statesboro Police Chief Charles “Mike” Broadhead is sharing a message with the community concerning drug overdoses so far this year and the lethality of illegal street drugs now compared to in the past.

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The Statesboro Police Department has responded to seven incidents of drug overdose so far in 2023. Five of those incidents have resulted in fatalities. In all of 2022 SPD Officers responded to seven OD incidents, four of which resulted in fatalities. This sudden increase in overdose incidents as well as the fatality rate is quite alarming.

Illegal street drugs are currently more lethal than perhaps at any time in US history. This corresponds with an increase in the presence of Fentanyl, an opioid used as an analgesic and a sedative that is incredibly powerful. Fentanyl may be as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine. A tiny amount can be lethal, and in many cases, the presence of Fentanyl is unknown to the user until it’s too late.

Manufacturers of illegal drugs are using Fentanyl to make their product more potent to the user but in many cases the manufacturer lacks the skill or subtlety to keep the amount of Fentanyl laced into other drugs at a non-lethal level. These illegal drugs can come in the form of a pill that purports to be a legitimate pharmaceutical, or it can come in powdered or liquid form. Literally any illegal drug can be tainted with the use of Fentanyl.

Users of illegal drugs are currently playing a version of “Russian Roulette” with catastrophic results. Our officers have been carrying Naloxone for the past few years (a drug used to counter the effects of opioid drugs) but if they cannot locate the overdose in a timely manner, it cannot be used effectively. Georgia law allows for people to have immunity from arrest or prosecution if they call for emergency help for someone suffering an overdose. “Don’t Run, Call 911!”

Abusers of illegal drugs are asked to use extreme caution and to seek assistance with their addictions. Recovery is real, and a healthy lifestyle is achievable.

“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.  “Fentanyl is everywhere.  From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison.  We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose death and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.”

According to the CDC, 107,375 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings in the 12-month period ending in January 2022. A staggering 67 percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Some of these deaths were attributed to fentanyl mixed with other illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, with many users unaware they were actually taking fentanyl. Only two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose; it’s particularly dangerous for someone who does not have a tolerance to opioids.

Read more about Fentanyl on the DEA’s website here.


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