KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With a drug that is considered the be the “deadliest high” the rise of users is continuing to grow.

The high increase of fentanyl users has dramatically jumped from 2015 to 2021 by 1518 percent in Tennessee.

The drug is highly addictive and categorized as an opioid. Using fentanyl creates a sense of euphoria and relieves pain for a long period of time. Much like other opioids, Fentanyl is extremely dangerous, however, it is considered to be one-hundred times stronger than other drugs.

Hanna Pflughaupt is sharing her story on how she overcame her addiction to fentanyl, and how she uses her story to help others.

She started using drugs including methamphetamine, fentanyl, and others in high school.

“Most people have this misconception that addicts come from bad homes or have had some sort of terrible upbringing,” Hanna says. “But I came from a good, upper-middle class home, and once again addiction is proving affect anyone despite their background,” she adds.

It wasn’t until 2019 that she sought help and started her recovery.

When asked what key advice she would give to someone finally looking to end their addiction, being kind to yourself was the most important.

“Just because you fall off of your recovery, make a mistake, or take some steps backwards, you are still in recovery and can still move forward. “You can fall down as many times as you need to, but the community will be there for you when you slip up,” she adds.

She currently works closely with the Metro Drug Coalition which aims to provide prevention, harm reduction, and recovery support services for all drug addictions.

According to The Deadliest High’s website, a large consumption of fentanyl is found mixed in with other drugs. They say many users are not even aware they are ingesting fentanyl, which is why the death rate has risen.

On Tuesday, May 9 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, MDC will be holding a Fentanyl Awareness Day event to address misconceptions about fentanyl and educate the community about the substance. The event will be held at their outpatient recovery center, The Gateway.

For more information on the event and how you can get involved with Metro Drug Coalition, visit their website or call (865) 588-5550.