ATLANTA - A state drug report released Monday lists the top illegal drugs destroying lives and families in Georgia.
Meth leads the list in drug seizures tested by the GBI, followed by cocaine, Xanax, oxycodone and heroin.
Overdoses from opioids and heroin continue to be the leading causes of death in Georgia.
The counties with the highest use of opioids are in metro Atlanta.
The most seized opioids, according to the GBI are: 1) oxycodone, 2) heroin, 3) hydrocodone, 4) fentanyl/analogs.
But the most seized and most abused drug in 2018 is meth, and the GBI says users are finding new ways to conceal and transport the drug.
“We have had a chocolate chip cookie that tested positive for meth, meth embedded in greeting cards,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.
“It plays havoc on your body, your brain,” Kilcrease said.
Next to meth, cocaine is the second most highly seized drug in Georgia.
A major drug bust in May in Greene County scored 65 kilos of coke worth millions of dollars.
“Meth and cocaine remain the top drugs,” Miles said.
The GBI says that 11 different variations of potentially deadly fentanyl have been tested by the crime lab this year.
Drug enforcement officials also expressed concern about the growing number of pot edibles shaped like candy.
Over the last year and a half, the GBI has seized hundreds of pounds of food products infused with THC. Some look like cereal treats and can be so potent that they can trigger a medical emergency.
Channel 2’s Tom Regan got a look inside of one of refrigerators where the GBI stores evidence bags filled with marijuana-infused edibles seized in drug busts.
“Everything from cake to cookies to brownies to lollipops,” GBI Agent Deneen Kilcrease said. “We have more type of these cases that we do hydrocodone in our state.”
Marijuana legalization in other states is driving the popularity and demand of pot edibles. They’re highly profitable, but the unpredictable THC content can trigger an overdose requiring medical treatment in some cases.
“It's very important for parents to understand what is out there that could be marketed towards their children,” Kilcrease said.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.