Metro Public Health warns about drug overdose spike

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FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York. The three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson are on the verge of a $26 billion settlement covering thousands of lawsuits over the toll of opioids across the U.S., two people with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press. The settlement involving AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson is expected this week. A $1 billion-plus deal involving the three distributors and the state of New York was planned for Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Nashville Public Health Department is warning about an increase in overdose deaths from fake Xanax and Roxicodone pills.  

Local public health officials say in addition to reported overdoses involving fake Xanax (alprazolam) and Roxicodone (oxycodone hydrochloride) pills, they’ve also observed an increase of suspected drug overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, over the last several months. 

The most common substance detected in these cases was fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that health officials say is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. A lethal dose of fentanyl is two milligrams or the equivalent of a few grains of salt. 

Health officials warn counterfeit pills put individuals at greater risk of death. 

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For drug addiction information and resources you can call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1800-889-9789. 

For more information on the current overdose spike, click here. 

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