KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — District Attorney General Charme Allen released a report about fatal overdoses and the criminal justice system on Thursday, finding that 76 people died within one year of being released from law enforcement.
In total, in 2020, the report says 150 people who died of an overdose were arrested in Knox County in the 5 years before their death. Most of them were men — 71%.
The majority of victims in 2020 were between 35 years old and 44 years old — 33% of people who died were in that age range.
In total, the report says 413 people died in Knox County due to a drug overdose, increasing 41% compared to 2019.
The report also identified four major drugs found in autopsies: fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. It also discusses efforts by officials to prevent future deaths and intervene in addiction.
The Drug-Related Death Task Force worked to make sure agencies across East Tennessee treat overdose deaths as criminal investigations, which officials say strengthened law enforcement's ability to stop drug traffickers and created new ways to gather and analyze data.
All4Knox was also created, and initiative to create and execute a community strategy to prevent substance abuse in Knoxville and Knox County, while also helping people struggling with it.