NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Drug overdoses are on the rise across the country and they’re largely driven by fentanyl.
According to the Metro Nashville Public Health Department, in the first quarter of this year, there were 173 suspected drug overdose deaths that occurred in Davidson County.
The data revealed 79% of those cases detected fentanyl.
Tuesday evening, the founder of The Romello Marchman Foundation Tanja Jacobs will give a presentation to council-members to really take a deeper dive into what the fentanyl epidemic is and the importance of spreading awareness.
The CDC reports drugs may contain deadly levels of fentanyl and it’s nearly impossible to tell if drugs like cocaine, are laced with it.
The rise in overdoses motivates her to share the story of her son, Romello Marchman who died of fentanyl poisoning in 2020.
She thinks of these deaths as murder and not overdoses.
“Kids are stressed. They don't always tell parents everything about how they feel. They go to a friend that has a pill and in this pill, could very well be laced with fentanyl," Jacobs said. "Sadly, kids die and then the parents find them dead the next day."
Jacobs will be sharing her story with council members and will be joined by Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry for the presentation. Her son died of an overdose in 2017.
“I can't even stress enough how important it is to meet her, personally from a mother to a mother," she said. "This is the first time I will meet her and I'm looking forward to it. I really hope that she is willing and able to help us connect with people."
Jacobs plans to keep growing the foundation and host more awareness events.
You can learn more about The Romello Marchman Foundation here.
If you’re struggling with addiction The Tennessee REDLINE is the 24/7/365 resource for substance abuse treatment referrals.
Anyone can call or text 800-889-9789 for confidential referrals.
More helpful resources offered by the state on drug overdoses and fentanyl facts, can be found here.