Tri-Cities authorities combat growing fentanyl use

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Virginia Senate passed a bill that declares fentanyl as a weapon of terrorism; meanwhile, local leaders and advocates in Sullivan County, Tennessee are working to address the growing problem the drug poses.

“Right now, fentanyl is our number one drug of choice it seems like,” said Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus. “Last year, it seems like we had out 60 drug-related deaths and a third of those were fentanyl.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. According to the Department of Mental Health and Substances Abuse Services, in 2020 in Tennessee, 2,014 people died of drug overdose related to fentanyl. 

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