GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — A small Middle Tennessee county is dealing with a crises on top of the coronavirus pandemic right now: fake pills and drugs laced with fentanyl claiming the lives of young residents.
Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum said there were eight overdoses reported in 10 days – and three of those were fatal.
Sheriff Shrum said his department has confirmed the substance in fake Xanax and Roxicet pills is fentanyl, a deadly substance 25-50 times more potent than heroin. He also suspects fentanyl is being mixed with heroin and methamphetamine.
The victims? All in their 30s or younger.
“When you start having young people drop like flies it becomes very, very concerning,” Sheriff Shrum said in one of his Facebook updates on the overdose investigation.
Sheriff Shrum says his agency is small and only has two investigators who are working 16 to 18 hour days following leads in the overdose investigations. Tackling this new crises is taking investigators off other cases that need to be worked.
And right now, Sheriff Shrum said while they’ve made substantial progress in the cases – investigators are still hitting roadblocks.
“Because of this code that people live by, ‘we can’t tell,’ more people are going to die,” Shrum said on Facebook. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Sheriff Shrum is reaching out to the community, urging people with information to come forward.
“The life you save may be your own,” Sheriff Shrum said. “Without communication from the community we’re not going to solve this.”
Sheriff Shrum said he’s also concerned about the COVID-19 virus, overdoses and protecting his staff.
“We are using precautions working these cases to limit exposure to our people because of COVID-19,” Sheriff Shrum said. “As the virus decreases it will open up new avenues for us to dive deeper.”
Sheriff Shrum says these overdoses are happening in young people – and it’s hitting the community hard.
“Those people who are drug addicts belong to somebody, they are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters,” Sheriff Shrum said. “They belong to somebody. Because they are dealing with addiction doesn’t mean we just mark it up and move on.”
He shared a message directly to those who need help.
“If you’re listening to me and you’re a user, it’s dangerous territory right now,” Sheriff Shrum said. “You don’t know what you’re getting. Seek help if you have a loved one who needs help, talk to them and try to convince them it’s a dangerous thing going on right now.” (Click to Source)
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