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TN Officials Work to Separate ‘Fact from Fiction’ on Fentanyl

Tennessee state data showed in 2020, more than 3,000 Tennesseans died of drug overdoses, a 45% jump in deaths from 2019 and the largest yearly increase on record.

Edmond Strickling, a police officer and member of the Police Activities League in Nashville, said there is an abundance of misinformation on fentanyl. He explained overdoses occur when the powder enters the bloodstream, which can happen inadvertently, through a cut or wound, or by touching the eyes, nose or mouth after handling a substance laced with fentanyl.

“You may have someone that may be using recreational drugs and can inadvertently end up with something that may contain fentanyl,” Strickling observed.

The Tennessee Department of Health said fentanyl is responsible for the uptick in overdose deaths. Free training on how to prevent opioid overdoses with naloxone is available online.

And the rise in social media-related mental health issues, Strickling pointed out young people are especially vulnerable to using drugs as a coping mechanism.

“Particularly in a high school, you have kids that are dealing with stress,” Strickling emphasized. “You’ve got to look at the challenges that these teens are dealing with.”

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. shattered records for overdose deaths nationwide in 2021, with more than 100,000 lives lost. Eighty percent of those deaths were attributed to opioids.

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. Current General Manager Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1 and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (28 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,662 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served 4 years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for 6 years at Grundy County High School.

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