7 million deadly doses of fentanyl seized in Tennessee last year

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated about 100,000 fake fentanyl prescription pills and about 200 pounds of fentanyl powder in Tennessee.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated about 100 thousand fake fentanyl prescription pills and about 200 pounds of fentanyl powder in Tennessee.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:32 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 7 million lethal doses of fentanyl in Tennessee.

“It’s a tragic and unfortunate number,” said DEA special agent Jeffrey Scott. “On the one hand, it speaks to the work that we’re doing. On the other hand, it speaks to the amount of fentanyl that’s actually washed across the United States right now.”

The number is alarming but not surprising, according to Scott. “The prevalence of these pills is one of the things we want to talk about, plus the high likelihood of a fatality if you take one,” he said.

Illicit fentanyl is different from pharmaceutical fentanyl prescribed to long-term pain patients. The street drug is far more potent and deadly.

In Knoxville, the Metro Drug Coalition increased its harm-reduction efforts in hopes to prevent overdose deaths. “This is life-threatening. We lose someone or save someone due to the resources they have available to them,” said regional overdose prevention specialist Jessica Stanley.

One of their harm reduction services is fentanyl test strips. The test looks like a COVID-19 test, but it tests for the presence of fentanyl in any substance. The test does not tell what kind of fentanyl or how much of the substance is present.

Metro Drug Coalition offers the testing strips for free at their Gateway location, located at 530 West Fifth Ave. You can contact Metro Drug Coalition at (865) 588-5550.