Statewide Strategies to Prevent and Treat the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic in Tennessee

IMG_1390On June 3, Governor Bill Haslam announced a new plan that hopes to curb the widespread abuse of prescription drugs in the state. Prescription for Success is a strategic plan developed by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in collaboration with sister agencies impacted by the prescription drug epidemic.

Prescription drug abuse is a pervasive, multi-dimensional epidemic that is impacting Tennessee families and communities and requires a coordinated and collaborative response. The toll that this epidemic is having on the state has dramatic numbers the Haslam Administration shared.

Prescription drug abuse in Tennessee

  • 69,100 people addicted to prescription drugs
  • 221,000 out of 4,850,000 adults in TN used prescription opioids, in the past year for non-medical purposes
  • 204 convicted of doctor shopping last year
  • 22,714 incidents of child abuse due to drug exposure last year
  •  921 babies born drug dependent in 201360,065 drug-related crimes reported in 2012

Source: Haslam administration

A Plan for the Future:

The response to prevent and treat prescription drug abuse demands comprehensive and coordinated solutions involving many different state departments. Strategies have been developed to meet the following outcomes:

1.         Decrease the number of Tennesseans that abuse controlled substances.

2.         Decrease the number of Tennesseans who overdose on controlled substances.

3.         Decrease the amount of controlled substances dispensed in Tennessee.

4.         Increase access to drug disposal outlets in Tennessee.

5.         Increase access and quality of early intervention, treatment and recovery services.

6.         Expand collaborations and coordination among state agencies.

7.         Expand collaboration and coordination with other states.

Metropolitan Drug Commission will be working with the Knox County Prescription Drug Task Force, our coalition as well as local officials to make sure that people are educated in our community about this new plan that is being put into place.

If you have any questions regarding this new plan or would like to be a part of our coalition, please contact our office at 865-588-5550.