Tennessee Substance Abuse Statistics

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 Drug Abuse Statistics

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.

  • According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metropolitan statistical area had the highest rate of illicit drug use in the state.
  • The state is set to receive $13.8 million to address the prescription opioid epidemic in 2017.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Tennessee

Despite the rise in opioid addictions, alcohol abuse statistics have remained stable, so alcohol is still the most commonly abused substance in Tennessee.

  • More than 60 percent of patients who enter state drug treatment programs seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
  • About 1 in 20 Tennessee residents abused or were dependent on alcohol in 2016.
  • Tennessee men are up to four times more likely than Tennessee women to suffer from alcohol or drug dependency.
  • More than 27,000 arrests were made for individuals driving under the influence in 2016.

Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics 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.

  • In 2007-2008, Tennessee led the nation in the number of residents over age 26 who abused prescription opioids.
  • In 2010, 3,379 Tennessee residents entered treatment programs for prescription opioid addiction. Of those patients, 57.6 percent were men and 42.4 percent were women.
  • 70 percent of people who abuse prescription opioids obtain their supply from friends or family members while 4 percent buy from dealers. Only 17 percent have a legitimate prescription from a doctor.
  • Between 2006 and 2012, emergency rooms across the nation saw an uptick of 78 percent in the number of elderly patients admitted for misuse of prescription drugs.
  • The number of children born with symptoms of opioid withdrawal has continued to rise every year since 2013.

Illegal Substance Abuse Statistics in Tennessee

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.

  • Around 800 meth laboratories are believed to be operating in Tennessee at any given time.
  • The number of arrests related to heroin have risen from 169 in 2009 to over 1,500 in 2016, which is an 800 percent increase.
  • More than 1,400 individuals were admitted to treatment programs in Tennessee for cocaine abuse in 2016.

Combined Substance Abuse Statistics

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.

  • About a third of patients admitted to substance abuse treatment are seeking help for both drugs and alcohol.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported in 2010 that nearly 250,000 adults and 66,000 children had a mental health condition that impacted their day-to-day life.

Lakeview Health Provides Substance Abuse Treatment To People Throughout the US

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 866-704-7692 to speak with someone today and learn about how we can help.