Chattanooga, TN – COVID-19 lockdowns have amplified mental health issues along with drug abuse in Chattanooga.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 66 people have died in Hamilton County from drug overdoses between January and September of 2020 compared to 40 during the same 9-month period of 2019.
There have been 422 overdoses in Hamilton County this year as of September 6th. At the same time in 2019 there were 260 overdoses.
Large-scale drug busts have been made across the State of Tennessee in 2020 and drug-related arrests in Chattanooga continue.
In March, 6 were charged in Knoxville after $13M worth of meth (900 kilos) was discovered through a supply-line bust.
Just in September, an Athens, TN woman with a 5-week-old baby was arrested for possession of over a kilo of meth.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there are over 800 methamphetamine labs in operation across The State of Tennessee.
The TBI received over $3M in funding to support investigations into opioid trafficking back in June of 2020.
The extra funding comes as Memphis, TN makes its way into the top 10 cities for heroin use.
Tennessee is clearly facing an increasing drug epidemic amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a spike in Chattanooga drug overdoses, it is evident that a problem has arrived that may not be leaving soon.