Tennessee sees rise in Fentanyl overdoses

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Overdoses linked to Fentanyl are on the rise in Tennessee. Recently, the Tennessee Department of Health as well as several other agencies issued a public health advisory on the deadly drug.

Across the state, officials are finding it in counterfeit drugs.

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Paul Fuchcar, Director of Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, says some of these fakes may even look like pharmaceutical drugs.

Fentanyl can be a prescribed medication but, it’s also manufactured illegally.

Counterfeit drug buyers may not even know what they’re buying, which could be a major problem if it contains fentanyl.

Phillip Smith with Access Pharmacy says they currently see about two to four Fentanyl prescriptions a month.

He says when used properly, the narcotic is not bad for treating cancer pain and chronic pain but among many things, potential abuse and potency of the drug has caused a decrease in the medication.

As for Fuchcar he says if you are addicted to opiods, there are services and help available.

Tennessee does have chronic pain guidelines that limit the amount of opoids, including fentanyl, people can have.  It’s a way to combat abuse and death.