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2021 sets Drug overdose record largely due to Fentanyl


Drug overdoses are a growing problem in the United States. More people died from drug overdoses in the last year than ever before.

Donald Jordan the program manager for Pathways Behavioral Health said, “We've seen a significant increase in overdoses. We've got staff who work in the streets in the community. We've got staff who work in our emergency department, as well as obviously here at Pathways. But, yeah, we're seeing those numbers go up rapidly. It's really upsetting.”

Pathways Behavior Health in Jackson has witnessed a rise in overdoses during the last two years.

Nationwide, last year more than 107,600 Americans died of drug overdose according to the CDC.

Overdoses in the US rose by 15% last year.

Officials say a lot of that is due to Fentanyl.

“A lot of what we're seeing is people are buying what they think are Hydrocodone, Percocet, even Xanax. They're buying pills that are pressed and look official. But those pills are pressed with fentanyl in them," said Jordan.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that experts warn is fifty times more potent than Heroin.

A dose the size of the tip of a pencil is considered lethal.

Jordan said, “If you're not getting it from a pharmacist now more than ever, you're at risk of fentanyl being in that being in that pill and therefore at risk of overdose with just one.”

Donald Jordan says dealers are doing this to make a higher profit, It's a whole lot cheaper and it's a lot stronger, significantly stronger, so it's the folks who are selling and trying to make money off the game are not really as worried about what happens to you on the other end.”

The West Tennessee Drug Task Force have seized a huge amount illegal drugs already this year.

Madison County Sheriff Mehr says that they have been lucky to stop a lot of drugs from hitting the streets but that more are always out there, “No community in the United States is immune from this type of activity, do you get it all the time? No. But does it come through here all the time? Yes.”

If you need help with drug addiction or overdose pathways is ready to help.

“Whether you've got insurance, you don't have insurance, you don't have a dime to your name. Anything that you need in terms of treatment, if you're ready for it, we can make sure that that happens,” Jordan says.

Call or text the Redline at (1-800-889-9789) if you are in need of help.

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