According to the TBI, the number of incidents involving heroin use surged last year in Tennessee, and has more than doubled since 2010.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the largest increases have been seen in the state’s largest counties, including Knox County.
In 2011, there were 5 cases reported in Knox County; last year, that rose to 22 cases, with 44 cases investigated in East Tennessee.
Shelby County saw an increase from 103 cases in 2011 to 138 cases last year, with 143 cases investigated in West Tennessee. Davidson County saw an increase from 96 cases in 2011 to 189 last year, with 241 cases investigated in Middle Tennessee.
Health officials cite a crackdown on prescription pills for the increased use of heroin. They also predict that as most people using heroin deliver the drug intravenously, there will be an increase of shared needles and a possible rise in cases of hepatitis and HIV.