Prescription drug abuse tops alcohol abuse in Tennessee
Drug abuse is on the rise in Tennessee. The misuse of prescription pain medications tops the list with an increase of 500%. The number of admissions to treatment facilities has gone form 764 in 2001 to 3,828 in 2011.
As of July 1, 2012, the number of admissions for prescription drug abuse exceeded the admission for alcohol abuse for the first time in history, this according to the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
According to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 4% of Tennessean's over the age of 18 and approximately 12% of 18 to 25 year olds reported using pain relievers recreationally in the past year. Substance abuse treatment offers both a benefit to those who receive it and a savings to communities.
In 2010, Tennessee's 1,059 recorded drug-overdose deaths add up to an estimated 7,000 years of life lost, and a loss of earnings of approximately $238 million.