Distribution of stimulus checks could cause spike in Overdoses

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Data from the Tennessee Department of Health’s Drug Overdose Reporting System suggests the distribution of the second coronavirus relief package may result in a spike in opioid overdoses.

According to the Hamilton County Coalition, opioid overdoses spiked over 30 percent statewide during the months of the Covid-19 shutdowns and first round of stimulus checks. 

Officials suggest if you have any unwanted prescription medicine to properly dispose of it by using the counties drop off boxes or drug deactivation pouches. 

The Coalition wants to remind residents the importance of knowing the signs of an overdose.

“What can happen when an individual starts to overdose is : pinpoint pupils, labored breathing, very shallow breathing, skin turns blue, nails turn blue, they may be unconscious or they may even throw up,” says Vanessa Spotts, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist. 

The county does offer prevention resources such as Narcan training. 

For more information about overdose prevention training click here

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News