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CDC: Fentanyl overdoses killed more people 18-45 since 2020 than COVID-19, wrecks, suicides

Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and the little amount that fits on a penny could kill a person

MACON, Ga. — Dr. Grady Carter, a psychiatrist at Piedmont Behavioral Health, says fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and the little amount that fits on a penny could kill a person.

He says most people they treat for opioid addiction are using pills laced with fentanyl and they may not even know it.

Gina Haralson lost her 20-year-old son Caleb from a fentanyl overdose.

"Went to wake him up and found him in kneeling position, cold and gone, and I lost my son that day," said Haralson.

Caleb had a history of addictive traits -- he did Xanax and went to rehab facilities on and off, but at this time, Haralson says, "He was on the upswing. He had a new job that he loved, he was excited about it. He was going to be an electrician."

Dr. Carter says with opioids in particular, "As you start using, you get tolerant, especially to the lethal effects, so an amount that would kill an average person, someone who is addicted to it can take 10, maybe 20 times that much. If you quit using and go back, that's particularly lethal, and that's when a lot of people die."

"I lost a part of me that I can never get back, and there's this huge hole inside of me where my son used to be," said Haralson. 

Harold Hurley with the DEA knows how serious it has become in Central Georgia.

"We're seeing a lot of it in counterfeit pill form. People don't realize that just two milligrams of a fake fentanyl pill is enough to kill somebody," said Hurley.

Haralson has a message to other parents out there.

"This drug this is not something that you play with. This is not something you dabble in. This drug will kill you," said Haralson.

Carter says if you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, there's a 24/7 crisis helpline you can call. Dial (478) 741-1355 to get an assessment and a referral for free.

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