The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said the state is noticing more cases of heroin use in past months.
"We all know heroin from the '60s and '70s was a terrible drug," Fentress County Sheriff Tony Choate said Thursday.
His county is starting to look into possible cases of heroin use. So far, there have been no arrests from the drug, but there have been plenty of signs and concerns.
"We're hearing a little more within the past year. We are bearing more about the heroin in the smaller areas," he added.
This comes as the county and all of East Tennessee have been overwhelmed by the abuse of illegal prescription drug abuse problem. The sheriff said when those pills rise in price and supplies dry up, some abusers may choose to go to heroin, a cheaper high.
"Small communities have a lower base of income. Like I said, it's a cheaper drug for them," the sheriff said.
According to TBI, heroin gives a similar high compared to prescription pain pills. So far, they cannot release current numbers on the heroin increases.
The sheriff said the drug will be under his radar.
"In 22 years in the Highway Patrol, I never thought about the heroin. But now, it's making a comeback," he said.
Across the border, authorities in Knox County, Ky. recently discovered heroin in a home. The local sheriff's department said they haven't heard much of the drug in the past few years, until now.