NASHVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee state officials are again warning the public about counterfeit prescription drugs that can be lethal.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services held a press conference saying they are seeing more and more drugs being made in clandestine labs that contain fentanyl.
Previous story: TBI issues public safety alert for potentially deadly pills
“Drug dealers are preying on citizens of our state who have drug addictions,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “Fake pills containing fentanyl are a new, deadly twist to the drug challenge we face. The Governor’s Public Safety Action Plan addresses the drug challenge in its many parts. We need a sense of urgency.”
Officials said they’ve seen about two dozen cases throughout the state of pills shaped, colored and stamped to look like a prescription medicine, but were actually fentanyl – a painkiller 50 time as potent as heroin that can be deadly in high doses.
“If you buy a pill off the street, it’s like playing Russian roulette,” said Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young. “You just don’t know what’s in it. Just one pill, or even half a pill, could be enough to kill you.”
State official say if you or anyone you love is addicted to opioid-based drugs, contact a treatment center by calling the Tennssee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789.