Huntsville, TN (2020-03-09) On Friday, March 6, 2020, District Attorney General Jared Effler, along with Victim Witness Coordinator Ashton Rector, conducted a focus group with students from Oneida High School and Scott High School to hear from students about their knowledge of the dangers of prescription medication abuse, as well as general awareness of fentanyl.
Drug overdoses involving fentanyl have increased exponentially in Tennessee over the past several years. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid used for managing severe pain, is around 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is often illegally sold on the streets disguised as heroin, where users unknowingly take too much and ultimately overdose.
While the use of fentanyl has increased, awareness of the drug has not.
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference is heavily focused on fighting the abuse of fentanyl and other drugs across Tennessee, as well as educating Tennesseans about the dangers of these substances. Input and feedback from these focus groups will be used for a fentanyl awareness effort geared toward Tennesseans that will launch in summer 2020.
“Our goals for this effort, and for all of our public education efforts, are to get in front of our community members and share helpful information,” said District Attorney General Jared Effler. “After researching and planning, we recognized the glaring absence of fentanyl-related information available in Tennessee and beyond. We know this effort can save lives, and we are thankful for our education partners and students for engaging with us and sharing their thoughts and concerns.”