Local law enforcement and health agencies in Tennessee have made significant efforts to curb the substance abuse epidemic that has persisted in the state. Nonetheless, many residents remain trapped in addictions to alcohol, hard drugs, prescription drugs or a combination of substances. The availability of illicit drugs such as heroin continues to pose a large public health threat, yet the abuse of prescription opioids has become an even more prevalent problem in the state.
Tennessee consistently ranks in the top five US states in terms of substance abuse rates. In 2010, 11,717 Tennessee residents were admitted to substance abuse treatment programs. Of those patients, 67 percent were male and 33 percent were female.
Despite the rise in opioid addictions, alcohol abuse statistics have remained stable, so alcohol is still the most commonly abused substance in Tennessee.
Many prescription medications designed to help patients with chronic pain can be habit forming. Oxycodone and hydrocodone are the most commonly abused of these painkillers. Although physicians legally prescribe them, these medications often end up on the black market, which has led to a surge in drug related crimes in Tennessee. Opioid overdoses have become so widespread that the Tennessee General Assembly has permitted pharmacies to carry naloxone, a medication used to negate the effects of an opioid overdose until the patient receives professional treatment.
Drugs like cocaine, heroin and especially methamphetamine continue to pose a public health threat in Tennessee in 2017. The production of meth is extremely dangerous as the chemicals used are highly flammable and produce poisonous fumes. Given that meth is often cooked in makeshift labs, explosions are all too common. Aside from those risks, meth can cause long term damage to users’ brains and bodies.
Addictions are often not limited to one substance. Unfortunately, combining different drugs can result in more dire consequences than taking any drug individually. For example, alcohol, opioids and prescription medications like Xanax can exacerbate the effects of each other if taken together. There is also significant overlap between mental illness and substance abuse, which is why mental health support is vital to successful addiction treatment.
Lakeview Health is a nation-wide organization that helps Americans who are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. Although we are based in Florida, we invite patients from all over the nation to come for treatment, including Tennessee. Our team understands the specific challenges that residents from different regions face, and we can help individuals navigate logistical hurdles so that they can get the treatment they need. If you or someone you love is suffering due to substance abuse, call our admissions team at 855-572-8724 to speak with someone today and learn about how we can help.
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