Fentanyl and drugs laced with it have recently led to several overdoses and even deaths in Middle Tennessee.

Bonnaroo festival-goers have tried to disguise drugs in many ways to sneak them onto festival grounds in years past.

“We’ve had loaves of bread, jelly, any kind of food item they have tried to alter to try and hide it,” Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Frank Watkins said.

Watkins says their biggest concern this year is Fentanyl coming in and drugs laced with it.

“We’ve had several reports throughout outlying counties that they’ve had overdoses,” Watkins said. “We’ve had a couple of deaths here in our county.”

Watkins says marijuana, heroin and cocaine are just some of the drugs reportedly found laced with Fentanyl.

“The folks that we have dealt with so far that have come in contact with it and have overdosed or died they did not realize that they were actually taking Fentanyl,” Watkins said. “The unknown, them not knowing what they are actually ingesting into their bodies.”

Law enforcement is preparing for the potential dangers.

“We have really ramped up carrying our Narcan and getting extra Narcan for the event,” Watkins said. “Putting out caches of medical supplies throughout the event instead of having it just at their medical place in the back.”

About 600 nasal doses of Narcan will be stored around the festival grounds in case crews need to restock.

“We have talked to EMS who have said that they’ve had to, on occasion, have had to give people three or four to get them coming back around,” Watkins said.

Watkins hopes they don’t have to use even one dose but wants people to know they have lifesaving tools if needed.

“Yes, we’re law enforcement, but look if you’re in distress and you have someone who’s in medical distress don’t be afraid to come up and tell us,” Watkins said. “We want everyone to come have a good time and get home safely.”

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Brittany Weiner joined the News4 team as a reporter in July 2018.

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