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Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal street drug heroin, synthetic substances such as fentanyl and carfentanil, and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut and other parts of the body. When this happens, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive.


Quick Facts

  • Opioids have consistently played a role in drug overdose deaths in Tennessee and were involved in 80% of overdose deaths in 2021.

  • 1 in 4 teens report they've misused or abused a prescription drug at least once. Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin are a few commonly prescribed pain medications.

  • Approximately 70,000 Tennesseans are addicted to opioids.

  • With the rise of fentanyl, drug overdoses in Tennessee have seen a 26% increase since 2020.

What POP is doing about it: 

  • Power of Putnam provides prescription medication lockboxes at community events and local businesses. POP also provides Deterra- a safe, at-home medication disposal option for unused or expired medications.

  • Power of Putnam hosts a Drug Take Back Day twice a year where community members have the opportunity to dispose of any unused, unwanted or expired medication. POP also provides rack cards with the permanent drop-off locations located throughout Putnam County.

  • Power of Putnam partners with our Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists to provide Overdose Prevention training to local businesses and community members.

  • We connect anyone struggling with opioid substance misuse to multiple resources like Lifeline and the TN Redline.


Opioid Factsheet for Patients (

 TN Redline: 1800.889.9789(24/7 Call or Text Addiction Hotline)

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