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Tennesseans warned of cocaine laced with fentanyl

Posted at 11:26 AM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-22 08:15:46-04

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an alert to the public after a cocaine submission tested positive for fentanyl.

TBI officials held a press conference Friday morning about a “troubling evidence submission” to their laboratory in Nashville.

Investigators said for the first time, they've found cocaine laced with fentanyl. One sample was found in Nashville, while at least two others were found in Knoxville. 

Fentanyl had primarily been identified in samples of heroin or in pills compounded to resemble prescription opioids. 

However, this marked the first-time samples of cocaine tested positive.  

“For some time now, we’ve warned about the dangers surrounding fentanyl for those struggling with opioid or prescription drug addiction,” said T.J. Jordan, Assistant Director of the TBI’s Drug Investigation Division. “This submission, however, changes the game. It proves the serious risk now also applies to recreational drugs beyond opioids. To be blunt: What you might buy and use, thinking it’s a good time, could cost you your life.”

Fentanyl can be 50 to 100-times as potent as morphine in certain doses and doesn’t necessarily need to be ingested to have an effect.  

Officials said it can absorb through the skin, so touching the substance can quickly put you at risk of overdose.

Anyone struggling with drug addiction should contact the Tennessee REDLINE at (800) 889-9789.