Tennessee Issues Public Health Advisory On Fentanyl

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Fentanyl, an exceptionally powerful drug used legally to treat extreme pain, has found its way to the illegal drug market, and it is killing people. According to three departments and one agency of Tennessee State Government, overdose deaths associated with fentanyl are increasing in the state and law enforcement officials have found the drug in counterfeit versions of commonly misused pain relief pills.

To increase awareness about the dangers associated with fentanyl, the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have issued a public health advisory and urge those challenged with a substance use disorder or who might obtain or misuse drugs “on the street” to understand the risk of death from the potent synthetic opioid.


To see the advisory, go to http://tn.gov/assets/entities/health/attachments/Fentanyl_Public_Health_Advisory.pdf.

“A few months we ago we reported 1,451 people lost their lives to drug overdoses in Tennessee in 2015 alone,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Counterfeit drugs present a terrible risk and an overdose can occur the very first time a person tries an illicit drug. This used to be a relatively rare tragedy. Now, with counterfeit drugs potentially made with more deadly and concentrated ingredients, the risk is dire. Please warn friends and family members using illegally-obtained drugs that even one pill or use can be deadly.”

“This is a life-threatening danger,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “Our agents find themselves encountering fentanyl in a growing number of cases. Also troubling:  Our crime labs across the state routinely analyze pills that look like one thing, but actually contain another. In a growing number of those cases, the pills contain fentanyl, which brings with it the potential for dangerous or deadly consequences.”

“Fentanyl use is becoming increasingly popular and more accessible,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “This has caused our department to be on high alert as we enforce traffic safety. It’s our mission to save lives on our roadways and ensure that our communities are safe. With our law enforcement and government partners, we are doing our best to combat the abuse of this drug and the life-threatening risks it causes not only the user, but the innocent.”

“If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, please call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams. “Help is available, recovery is possible and all have you have to do is call; the only thing to lose if you don’t is your life.”

For additional information about fentanyl and its steadily increasing impact in the United States, visit www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/fentanyl.html.


CHI Memorial Mobile Mammography Health Coach To Visit Chattanooga July 28

CHI Memorial’s mobile health coaches will provide mammography screenings at two Chattanooga churches on Saturday, July 28.   Appointments are available from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Greater Community Church of God, 1817  E. Third Street and from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at New Monumental Baptist Church, 901 Woodmore Lane.   "All women should have one screening mammogram ... (click for more)

Alexander: To Reduce Billions In Health Care Waste, We Should Spend Less On Unnecessary Expenses

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Tuesday said that one way to reduce health care costs in America is to “stop spending money on unnecessary medical tests, services, procedures, or medications.”   Senator Alexander made his remarks on Tuesday at the Senate heath committee’s second in a series of hearings on how to reduce health care costs, ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response (2)

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)