KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After a brief turnaround in 2019, the opioid epidemic is at an all-time high in our region. According to Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen, the county has surpassed the previous record total of suspected overdose deaths in a year.

So far in 2021, with nearly two months to go, 384 people have died from suspected overdoses. The previous record was set in 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at 383. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the number of overdose deaths in the county hadn’t surpassed 300.

The Knoxville Police Department wants to remind the public that, “If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, there’s help out there.” In Knox County, you can call the Metro Drug Coalition at 865-588-5550.