Tennessee District Attorneys Generals are launching its newest statewide awareness effort: “Fentanyl: The Deadliest High.” Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott, along with District Attorneys across the state, will be focused on educating Tennesseans on the extreme dangers of fentanyl, the most prevalent synthetic opioid in the United States.
Fentanyl-related overdoses have increased greatly in Tennessee over the last few years. It is often illegally sold on the streets disguised as other drugs, where users unknowingly take too much and ultimately overdose. A dose as small as 2 milligrams, roughly equivalent to the weight of four grains of sand, is considered lethal to the average person.
While the use of fentanyl has increased, awareness of the drug has not. District Attorneys conducted focus groups with middle and high schoolers across the state to determine the awareness level of fentanyl and its dangers. Findings from these focus groups shaped the approach for the awareness effort, which is primarily directed toward 13- to 18-year-old Tennesseans.
“Fentanyl has hit our community hard in the last couple of years,” Gen. Northcott said. “Because it is cheaper and easier for drug dealers to produce, fentanyl is often sold as or with another drug. The person using it will not realize they are taking fentanyl until it is too late. A large percentage of overdoses in Coffee County now involve fentanyl. Our office remains committed to the protection of the good people of Tennessee, and those who illegally bring fentanyl into this community will be prosecuted.”
The awareness effort will heavily utilize social media to reach students across the state and disseminate the message of the deadly nature of fentanyl, especially with the risks associated with street drug usage.
Those interested in learning more can visit TheDeadliestHigh.com.