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Tennessee's top cop: "If you’re buying pills on the street...you’re gambling with your life."

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TBI
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An image provided by TBI shows real oxycodone pills on the left and confiscated fake pills on the right.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) — Tennessee law enforcement warn they’re seeing a surge in fake pain pills laced with the extremely dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl.

In a recent press briefing, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch bluntly asserted “If you’re buying pills on the street in our state, you’re gambling with your life.” Rausch says TBI labs have found that half of the fake oxycodone tablets it tests actually contain only fentanyl.

Rasch says law enforcement is trying to counter the influx of fake pills by forming regional task forces statewide. He notes TBI is also targeting individuals for arrest who sell the drugs responsible for overdose deaths.

The Center’s for Disease control says it estimates nearly 3,500 Tennesseans died of drug overdose during the 12 month period that ended in March. That represents a 51 percent increase in overdose fatalities over the previous year.