It’s a new approach to turn around the opioid crisis.
In November, TBI is warning Governor Bill Lee that violent crimes will continue to rise because meth is becoming the number one choice among drug users.
So authorities are casting a wider net by prosecuting drug dealers.
“That’s critical to be able to stop the supply, so that’s been working really well,” said TBI Director, David Rausch.
Rausch says they’re tracing back overdoses to the dealers themselves.
“For so long you think I’m just this drug addict, I’m not worth it,” said Kasey. She didn’t want to share her last name.
Kasey turned to meth after her addiction to pain killers was no longer enough.
She says she was disgusted with her choices and her life. In August, she checked herself in to Adult and Teen Challenge in Chattanooga to overcome her meth addiction.
“We have to be very vigilant in our prosecution of drug dealers of any kind,” said 10th District Attorney Steve Crump.
Crump is trying attempting overcome the drug crisis with his expertise too. He says his district has more drug dealers serving time in jail than the majority of Tennessee. The 10th District is the 4th highest in Tennessee for people serving time in jail for selling drugs.
“It’s also important that when someone is trying to profit off of the addiction of another, that they should be held accountable,” said Crump.
Crump says his office will charge dealers with second degree murder if they believe they’re responsible for selling the drug that resulted in an overdose death.
Even without a death involved, Crump says dealers are looking at eight to 12 years in jail for selling meth.
For more cases on drug related charges and arrests – click here.