Metro reports multiple drug overdose incidents over the weekend

Overdose Deaths
Posted at 8:39 PM, Feb 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 06:54:27-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At least three people died after multiple overdose incidents were reported this weekend. Metro Health said they involved either a white or brown powder that occurred in the area west of the airport with ZIP codes 37210 and 37217. Cases were also reported in the Midtown Hills and South precinct areas.

It comes as drug-related overdoses, especially from fentanyl, have increased 85% in Tennessee since the pandemic.

“A lot of people are buying illicit drugs on the street and don’t know what’s in them and sometimes you get bad batches throughout different areas that can cause several overdoses in one area,” said Executive Board Member for the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee, Brian Sullivan.

Metro Health Department activated its text alert program after this weekend’s spike. “It can be a very useful tool in your community especially if you misuse drugs or you know someone who misuses drugs. It can let you know that there’s danger in your area of overdose spikes,” said Sullivan.

As Nashville becomes a growing hub for traffic, Sullivan said access to drugs may increase. “You have a lot of interstates that intersect in the city of Nashville, and in Memphis as well, for the state of Tennessee," he said. "So there’s lots of potential for drugs to come through whether that be from the border or whether that be from illicit factories in China.”

That’s why the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee is working to expand its reach. Just recently, it received $500,000 from the state to form nine new coalitions in rural counties.

“We now have 70 coalitions throughout the state of Tennessee," said Sullivan. "Tennessee has 95 counties so we’re roughly covering approximately 75% of the state.”

But he worries the trend of overdoses will continue beyond the pandemic. "A recent report that was released in the Lancet said that if something significant is not done by the year 2029 they expect 1.2 million additional overdose deaths in North America,” said Sullivan.

Until then, he said advocates will continue their work so spikes like this weekend’s don’t happen again.

If your or someone you know is in need of treatment, you can call or text the Tennessee REDLINE24/7 at 1-800-889-9789. For more information about the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee, clickhere.