Potent liquid opioid found during recent Murfreesboro arrest

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Morphine is usually given to hospice patients to help make their final days more comfortable, but somehow drug users are getting their hands on it.

Liquid morphine mixed with other drugs could be a deadly combination.

Just this week, a man was arrested with possession of the painkiller, but he didn’t have a prescription for it.

The drug is so potent, it comes in different concentrations. The 100 mg is only for patients who are opioid tolerant.

“If a person that has not had those opioids before takes that medication, that respiratory depression that we talked about, that can kill you. It’s so much more problematic because it’s so concentrated and so strong,” said Reeves-Sain pharmacist Taylor Black.

Reeves-Sain pharmacist Taylor Black (Photo: WKRN)

The medicine is normally prescribed to hospice patients or people in severe chronic pain.

“My hospice patients take like 1 cc, like the smallest syringe I have,” Black told News 2. “They will take like 1 cc every two hours. You may have a person abusing it, taking 5 cc every 30 minutes.”

There lies the problem for people on the streets who may not be aware of the dangers.

“We see that in patients that are unaware, or ignorant to that, and just trying to chase a high,” Black said.

This week, Murfreesboro police stopped a car on W. Northfield Boulevard for having a tag registered to a different vehicle.

Four people were arrested for being in possession of heroin, meth, rolling papers, and digital scales. Authorities identified them as Jon Fox, 25; Betty Lambert, 51; William Hall, 41; and Sara Lee, 35.

(Graphic: WKRN: Mug shots: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office)

Lee allegedly admitted to being a drug dealer, telling officers she sells drugs every day–0.1 grams of heroin for $30, and 0.1 grams of meth for $10.

Police told News 2 they also found liquid morphine in Fox’s backpack.

Black told News 2 liquid morphine taken with other drugs or alcohol can cause your heart rate to both decrease and increase.

“Make you stop breathing. You will die,” Black said. “If a Xanex is on board, or a benzodiazepine is on board, the less drugs it would take to put you in that danger zone.”

Pharmacists at Reeves-Sain also told News 2 it’s not easy for non-patients to get their hands on liquid morphine. Police are still wondering where Fox got it from.

All four suspects were charged with the manufacturing, distribution, sale, and possession of schedule I, II, and IV drugs and drug paraphernalia. They are scheduled to appear in court March 15.