Trends Surrounding Illegal Drug Taking Dangerous Turn

Cleveland, TN (WDEF) – Illegal drug use in the Tennessee Valley is following a dangerous trend, according to local officials. Drug choice is changing but with that change is coming a higher risk of addiction, and death.

Cleveland Police Sergeant Dax McGowan said, “You have upper class, you have middle class, you have lower class that use the drug.”

Agencies across the region are reporting a spike in this use of drugs laced with fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous narcotic that can kill a user with just a small amount.

“There will be fentanyl in things that people aren’t prepared for. Heroin that is cut with fentanyl. So opiates and methamphetine are things we are seeing on the rise right now that are causing enormous issues with overdose.” said Debbie Loudermilk, Director of Outpatient Services for the Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services (CADAS).

The DEA says only 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly. 42 percent of the pills they test have more than this.

Loudermilk said,”They’re buying it on the streets for 20 dollars a pill. They think it’s legit pharmaceutical-grade pills and it’s not. and one or two of those, and they’re dead. Adderall, things like that kids think are safe, some of that is going to have Adderall in it.”

Cleveland Police are also seeing another surprising trend.

Sergeant Dax McGowan said, “We see more methamphetamine used right now than we see marijuana use. And that doesn’t make sense for some odd reason.”

Cleveland Police credit a life-saving drug with a lower amount of overall lethal overdoses. Cleveland Police also said they’ve responded to the same person being administered Narcan more than once in a single day. Narcan is available to the public without prescription.

Sergeant Dax McGowan said, “So you see a rise in the overdoses. Now you don’t see as much overdose death and that’s due to the accessibility of Narcan.”

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