TBI Director: Expect Tenn. drug overdose deaths to keep climbing

Aug 6, 2019

TBI Director David B. Rausch
Credit tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Tennessee’s top law enforcement officer says expect the number of drug overdose deaths in the state to continue to rise.


Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch calls the scale of the state’s opioid epidemic “devastating.” He notes that more than 1700 Tennesseans died of drug overdoses in 2017 and he expects the final 2018 count to climb even higher. 


“We know that it’s going to be an increase, and we know that because of the submissions of these drugs into our labs. We have seen the drug that’s killing the majority of people is fentanyl.”

TBI has launched a new drug overdose task force in East Tennessee. The partnership between state and local law enforcement is working to trace drugs that cause overdose deaths back to their source and charge those responsible.