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Community Health Organizations Unite to Combat Deadly Opioids

Area healthcare providers are uniting to alert the central Georgia region of a cluster of opioid overdoses that have occurred within the past 48 hours.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Georgia Poison Control - along with area health systems including Coliseum Medical Centers, Coliseum Northside Hospital, Houston Healthcare and Atrium Health Navicent - have become aware of a dangerous, potentially lethal substance contained in street drugs surfacing in central and south Georgia. Multiple patients have been hospitalized and there are reports of deaths that may be associated with the drugs. Confirmation is pending.

The overdoses have been reported over a 48-hour period in Bibb and Houston Counties, as well as Albany. The drugs may be sold on the street. Patients reportedly purchased yellow pills alleged to be Percocet, an opioid pain medication. The substance has not yet been identified but it is extremely potent and has required massive doses of naloxone (Narcan) to counteract its effects. According to DPH, testing is being done to identify the pills and the ingredients.

As this situation develops, area health systems would like to remind the public of the following:

"¢ It is never safe to purchase street drugs, including those sold as prescription pills.

"¢ It is never safe to ingest or inject a substance if not under a physician's care.

"¢ Parents and guardians should take measures to protect their children. Know who your children are with, know where they will be, know what they will be doing.

"¢ When under the influence of substance, it is impossible to know the ramifications or health effects of that substance on your body.

"¢ If you suspect you have taken or if you believe someone else has used one of these pills CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

First responders say patients are unconscious or unresponsive and have difficulty breathing or have stopped breathing. Many patients need to be placed on ventilators.

Opioid overdose is a very dangerous condition that can result in permanent physical and mental damage or even death if medical treatment is not administered right away.

Additional information from DPH may be obtained at 1-866-PUB-HLTH or

About Coliseum Health System

Owned by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Coliseum Health System is comprised of Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital, two medical/surgical campuses with a total of 413 beds. The hospitals feature an expansive range of state-of-the-art services designed to meet the comprehensive medical needs of central Georgia. Both facilities include a 24-hour emergency room, inpatient and outpatient surgery options, rehabilitation programs, and diagnostic services. In addition, Coliseum Health System's breadth of care options includes specialty facilities such as the Coliseum Heart Institute, an advanced cardiac center offering all services from non-invasive cardiology to open heart surgery, Coliseum Primary Stroke Center, Coliseum Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, Coliseum Cancer Institute, Coliseum Robotic Institute, Georgia Bariatric Center, Coliseum Rehabilitation Center, and the Family Ties Birthing Center, which includes a level III neonatal nursery. Additionally, the Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health, located at Coliseum Medical Centers, provides treatment to adults with psychiatric and addiction issues through inpatient and outpatient programs, as well as, a specialty program for senior adults. For more information about Coliseum Health System, visit:

About Houston Healthcare

Houston Healthcare continues to serve one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Georgia. Houston Medical Center, a 237-bed facility, and Perry Hospital, a 45-bed facility, are dedicated to providing quality care to the communities we serve. Along with our two medical centers, Houston Healthcare operates The Surgery Center, Houston Heart Institute, Houston Lake Rehab, Pavilion Rehab, the Houston Health Pavilion, and three urgent care facilities - Houston Lake, Lake Joy and Pavilion Med-Stops. The Pavilion Family Medicine Center (PFMC) is home to the Residency Program where eighteen Resident Physicians provide care for the PFMC and Houston Medical, along with enhancing their knowledge and skills as a physician. We are proud of our accomplishments and awards, but it's the 2,400 employees that make up our System that truly make a difference in the lives of our patients each day.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate the Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 830 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, a rural critical access hospital; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit