Tennessee is facing a deepening opioid crisis, with deaths from drug overdoses continuing to rise. According to the Tennessee State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, of the state's estimated 6.7 million people an estimated 70,000 are reported to be addicted to opioids.
Fentanyl is set to overtake Vicodin, Oxycontin, and hydrocodone as the primary cause for drug overdoses in Tennessee, as more addicts are transitioning from prescription pills to street drugs. In 2016, the number of fatal overdoses from fentanyl rose 74%, killing 294, then another 70% in 2017, killing 500. In Nashville, fentanyl deaths surpassed heroin deaths for the first time in 2017. A total of 1,776 Tennesseans died of overdoses in 2017.
Of the 220 counties across the US most at risk of outbreaks of HIV and/or hepatitis C as a result of the opioid epidemic, few counties in the country rank as poorly as Hancock, Jackson, Benton, and Scott County.
If you or someone you care about needs help with a mental health and/or addiction problem, call the crisis helpline 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471), available a 24/7/365. All calls are answered by a trained specialist within your area. The service is free and operated by the TDMHSAS (Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services).
In an emergency, call 9-1-1.