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Opioid crisis escalates in Nashville

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — In Nashville there’s been a 32 percent increase in the number of deadly overdoses.

“We went from a bad and dangerous situation to a worse situation,” said Trevor Henderson with the Metro Health Department.

According to the latest report, 619 people overdosed and died in Nashville in 2020, and in 80 percent of those cases, toxicologists found fentanyl.

“It just doesn’t stop being terrifying. There are so many people who are using substances where they seem to be totally unaware that this is being mixed in there. We see a lot of fake pills — fake Xanax pills,” said Henderson.

And COVID isn’t helping.

“Having connections in the community cut off, potentially having connection to services cut off,” said Henderson.

Because of pandemic, the opioid epidemic is being largely overlooked.

“There is no vaccination for addiction, so this issue is going to be with us for a while. This issue is going to claim more lives for the next several years. So, yeah, we do need to get back to paying more attention to this,” said Henderson.

Otherwise, experts say the opioid crisis will continue to escalate.

“It continually morphs and changes. It is not the same crisis as we were dealing with in 2017 and 2018, as the drug combinations change, as different communities are hit, we’re having to really stay on our toes in tracking this and trying to respond as quickly as we can,” said Henderson.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction you can get a naloxone kit and learn more by visiting nashvilleprevention.org .

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