Tennessee authorities are warning against picking up folded dollar bills of unknown origin after reporting two separate incidents where the synthetic opioid fentanyl was found inside folded cash.
According to the Perry County Sheriff's Office, someone found a folded dollar bill on the floor of a local gas station on both occasions. A "white powdery substance," which later tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, was found inside of the bills.
"This is very dangerous, folks!" the sheriff's office said. "Please share and educate your children to not pick up the money."
The sheriff's office said it plans to push for legislation "that would intensify the punishment, if someone is caught using money as a carrying pouch for such poison."
"It enrages me as a father and the Sheriff, that people can act so carelessly and have no regard for others well being," read a statement posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page.
Developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. And since 2018, fentanyl-laced pill seizures by law enforcement has increased nearly 50-fold amid a period of record-high overdose deaths, a recent found.
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