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How bad is the addiction problem in Tennessee? Let’s look at some facts:

  • Drug overdose deaths involving opioids totaled 1,307 in 2018 (a rate of 19.9).
  • Knox County had the most drug overdoses of all Tennessee counties.
  • In 2019, Tennessee residents filled over 5.3 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
  • Doctors in Tennessee have the 3rd highest opioid prescribing rate of all US states.
  • Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services reports that the top 3 substances of abuse in TN are opioids, alcohol and marijuana.

Drug overdose in Tennessee 2020:

  • Total drug overdose fatalities in Tennessee reached 1,818 in 2018.
  • The Knoxville, TN area stands out with a higher overdose rate than all other Tennessee regions. (About 57 deaths per 100,000 residents.)

The Good News:

  • While overdoses from synthetic opioids (like fentanyl) are still increasing, overdoses from prescription opioids have decreased.
  • Prescriptions for Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Clonazepam) are trending downward in the Volunteer State, from 3.3 million in 2018 to 2.8 million in 2019.

We have a long way to go to fix the addiction problem in Tennessee. Luckily, the state’s 6.8 million residents don’t have to travel far to get to high-quality, cost-effective drug treatment.

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