America’s drug addiction, abuse and overdose problem is a public health crisis that has affected every state, devastating communities and leaving many families in distress. Despite widespread government efforts to educate citizens on the dangers of drug use, people misuse prescription and illegal drugs at alarming rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue, as nationwide overdose deaths increased by nearly 30% between 2020 and 2021.
Which U.S. State Does the Most Drugs?
Based on factors such as arrests and overdose rates, Missouri, West Virginia and Michigan are the three states hit the hardest by the drug epidemic. West Virginia averages 51.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, Vermont has the highest share of teens and adults who use illicit drugs.
How Many People Do Drugs in Tennessee?
While the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations estimates around 800 methamphetamine labs operate at any given time in Tennessee, heroin and fentanyl are the drugs state law enforcement officials focus most of their attention on. These opioids have a high potential for abuse and addiction, and are often the substances people turn to when they can no longer get a prescription from their physician.
What Is the Drug of Choice in Tennessee?
Despite the rise in opioid addiction throughout the state, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among Tennessee teens and adults.
There is also a significant overlap between mental illness and substance abuse. To provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Mental Health America published its 2023 State of Mental Health Report. Among other things, this national survey aims to determine how many adults and young people struggle with mental health and substance use disorders, while identifying which states have higher barriers to accessing mental health care, including a lack of health insurance.
MHA’s data compilation provides a baseline for answering questions about how many people in America need and can get mental health services. On the report, Tennessee ranks 27th overall and 40th for access to care.
Where Does Tennessee Rank in the Country for Prescription Drug Abuse?
Opioids are responsible for getting many people hooked on prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Pharmaceutical companies marketed these drugs as harmless and not habit-forming, even while patients using them for legitimate medical reasons were getting caught in the cycle of addiction. Small, rural communities have borne the brunt of the opioid addiction crisis.
Though Tennessee has passed strict laws limiting the amount of opioids doctors can prescribe, the state still ranks third in the country for the most opioid prescriptions per 100 people, and 10th overall for the highest drug use by state. The Volunteer State also has one of the highest per-capita drug overdose rates in the nation. Opioid overdoses have become so widespread that the Tennessee General Assembly has permitted pharmacies to dispense a lifesaving opioid antagonist called naloxone without a prescription.
Changing the Drug Rate in Tennessee
As evidenced by these statistics, drug abuse, addiction and overdose deaths continue to be significant problems in Tennessee. At Cumberland Heights, we offer customized treatment plans for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental illness. Our compassionate team of substance use disorder experts treats each person with respect and offers evidence-based programming to help every client discover the benefits of recovery. Contact us today to learn more about accredited addiction rehab in Tennessee.