There were some alarming words Wednesday from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director about Mexican drug cartels targeting the state with a new form of heroin. Partner station WMSR reports that TBI Director Mark Gwyn told Governor Bill Haslam the cartels are focusing on Tennessee because of the state's high addiction rate to products like hydrocodone.
Gwyn added during the last year, TBI agents saw heroin laced with a synthetic called Fentanyl. "Fentanyl is what they are cutting the heroin with, you will start seeing Fentanyl labs showing up in the state just like meth labs.," according to Gwyn.
All you have to do is handle this Fentanyl and you can overdose. The TBI director indicated tougher penalties in other states against traffickers have helped deter the cartels and he thinks Tennessee should eventually "go in that direction."
About Heroin (National Institute on Drug Abuse):
Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as "black tar heroin."
In 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent) had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.