Deadly Opioid Nearly 100 Times More Powerful Than Morphine; Overdoses on the Rise
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference is launching its newest statewide awareness effort: “Fentanyl: The Deadliest High.” Gen. Jody Pickens, along with District Attorneys across the state, will be focused on educating Tennesseans on the extreme dangers of fentanyl, the most prevalent synthetic opioid in the United States. Over the last few years, the prevalence of fentanyl has increased dramatically across the state of Tennessee and in Chester, Henderson and Madison counties.
The goal of this campaign is to educate Tennesseans on the dangers of fentanyl and its common inclusion in street drugs, often with fatal results.
It is often illegally sold on the streets disguised as other drugs, where users unknowingly take too much and ultimately overdose. A dose as small as two milligrams, roughly equivalent to the weight of four grains of sand, is considered lethal to the average person.
While the use of fentanyl has increased, awareness of the drug has not. District attorneys conducted focus groups with middle and high schoolers across the state to determine the awareness level of fentanyl and its dangers. Findings from these focus groups shaped the approach for the awareness effort, which is primarily directed toward 13- to 18-year-old Tennesseans.
“In our research, we discovered a lack of education around the dangers and prevalence of fentanyl and opioids in general,” said Guy Jones, executive director of TNDAGC. “Our youth are our future. It is with that in mind that we work to inform them on the realities of addiction and overdose. We want this effort to be the start of the end of fentanyl and deadly drug abuse in Tennessee, and we must work together to make this goal a reality.”
“Our office remains committed to the protection of the good people of Tennessee,” Gen. Pickens said. “We will not step aside as dangerous opioids like fentanyl continue to spread across the state. One of the main ways we can fight back is by educating our youth about the dangers of drug use, especially now with fentanyl becoming more prevalent and available.”
The awareness effort will heavily utilize social media to reach students across the state and disseminate the message of the deadly nature of fentanyl, especially with the risks associated with street drug usage.
Those interested in learning more can visit TheDeadliestHigh.com. Tennesseans are encouraged to follow the TNDAGC on social media @TNDistrictAttorneys (Facebook) and @TNDAGC (Twitter and Instagram). Constituents in the 26th District are also encouraged to follow Gen. Pickens’ Facebook page for updates.