By Andy Santoro
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Overdose deaths are on the rise all over the country and the startling trend is hitting Chattanooga hard.
“Chattanooga is no different, we’ve seen quite a spike the last week and a half,” says Sergeant Jeremy Eames with the Chattanooga Police Department. The Chattanooga Police Department says there have been ten overdose deaths since the first of the month.
“You know, you put out a little fire here and there’s three more over here on this side of town. It’s a lot for our guys to get a hold on right now.”
Authorities believe it’s drugs cut with fentanyl, a chemical one hundred times more potent than morphine, that’s causing the overdose spike.
“With fentanyl, there’s just a red line, you go beyond that, and that’s gonna be it,” says Eames.
And police say they’re seeing it everywhere.
“Pills laced with fentanyl, they’re pulling them off the street on traffic stops or calls that they go on,” says Eames.
Local rehab centers say fentanyl makes even experimenting with drugs potentially deadly.
“We are seeing fentanyl laced in all drugs across every spectrum. We’re seeing it laced in marijuana even and really for the young population and the adult population, it’s really like playing Russian roulette,” says Knox Farmer, Marketing Director with CADAS.
“Unfortunately this drug is taking lives at a rapid pace and I just encourage anybody to seek help,” says Farmer.