Tennessee – Addiction and Drug Statistics


  • A 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Tennessee ranked No. 8 nationally in drug overdose deaths.
  • The death rate for drug overdoses has nearly tripled to 16 deaths per 100,000 people in Tennessee since 1999, according to data from the state Division of Health Statistics.
  • The state ranks among the top in the nation for the number of prescriptions written, oxycodone and hydrocodone sales and drug overdose deaths.
  • Sales of opioid pain relievers in Tennessee are 1.7 times that of the United States.
  • Young adults ages 18 to 25 have the highest annual rates of prescription drug abuse.
  • The state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care to uninsured Tennesseans, saw spending on narcotic prescriptions increase 48 percent to nearly $49 million between 2007 and 2011.
  • Emergency room admissions to Tennessee community hospitals for drug-related disorders are estimated to have cost $6.7 million in 2009 up from $ 4.2 million in 2005 based on an average cost of $4,900 per hospital stay for a drug-related disorder.
  • A study using five-year averages from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 8.3% of Tennesseans needed specialty treatment for a substance use problem; 11.5% of people who needed treatment actually received it.

Additional Resources:

Legally Dead: Exploring The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse

255 pain clinics and counting across Tennessee – timesfreepress.com

TennCare narcotic spending is on the rise – The Tennessean

Costs of Substance Abuse in Tennessee – Weakly County Prevention Coalition

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