Overdoses increase 22% in the last year

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Drug overdoses are continuing to increase in the state of Tennessee and health officials believe the pandemic has only made things worse. 

Preliminary data from the Tennessee Department of Health on the latest overdose report shows a 22 percent increase in reported overdoses from 2019 to 2020.

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Early results show the overdose death number increased substantially as well.

Local treatment centers such as CADAS have seen a dramatic increase in patients since the pandemic began.

“We look at things and talk about your life being upended, economic stress, financial insecurity , increase in emotional stress, anxiety, depression. One of the biggest things that have fueled this opioid epidemic that we remain in is that isolation,” says Debbie Loudermilk, Director of Outpatient Services at CADAS.

Officials say over the last year they have seen a dramatic increase in the drug fentanyl as drug users’ drug of choice. If you or someone needs help please reach out to CADAS