2022 Fatal Overdose Death Victims & the Criminal Justice System Report Released

Citizens of Knox County,

In 2022, the District Attorney General’s Office continued its mission to pursue the guilty and protect the innocent. As your District Attorney, I’ve also worked to keep my promise to be “Tough on Crime and Smart of Prevention.” This mission and my promise are put on full display in our fight to stop the rising number of overdose deaths in our community. After 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a devastating 29% increase in overdose deaths. Fortunately in 2022, the increase was much less severe at 2%. Unfortunately, 544 individuals still lost their lives to a drug overdose. The Knox County District Attorney’s Office will continue attacking Knox County’s drug problem from all angles, including prosecution and the use of prevention and treatment measures.

From a law enforcement and prosecution angle, the DA’s Office recently locked arms with other district attorneys and law enforcement agencies in East Tennessee to stop the flow of drugs coming into our community through Detroit-based drug dealers. This effort is called the 313 Initiative. I want everyone to know that Knoxville and surrounding counties are a hostile market for would-be drug traffickers.

Data collected from across our community can help us keep our eyes on the horizon for new threats and create plans to eradicate unnecessary loss and preserve public safety. The data presented in the 2022 Fatal Overdose Death Victims & the Criminal Justice System Report continues to highlight opportunities for prevention and intervention. The criminal justice system is just one piece of the puzzle. I hope this data helps inform our community-based approach for communitywide success.


Charme P. Allen
District Attorney General
6th Judicial District