August 31 is National Overdose Awareness day — a day when many will remember a loved one who died of an overdose.
In 2020 alone, more than 3,000 Tennesseeans died of an overdose — an increase of nearly 950 people over 2019, and just shy of double the amount from four years prior.
Seventy-nine percent of those fatal overdoses involved opioids.
TBI Director David Rausch said the state has a profound problem with addiction, and criminals are getting smarter at finding ways to push profit.
"In staggering numbers, we're seeing substances we've never imagined in quantities we've never seen before, and it's taking a toll that causes pain and suffering for entirely too many Tennessee families," said TBI Director David Rausch.
There are thousands more people who suffer an overdose and survive. More than 20,000 people in Tennessee suffered a nonfatal overdose in 2020.
Remember: you are not alone. Addiction is a disease you can get treated for. If you or a loved one needs help, call the Tennessee red line at 1-800-889-9789.