Everyone has heard about the opioid epidemic in Tennessee, but how exactly did it become so widespread? The Tennessean has developed a detailed timeline of the opioid crisis in the state, and here is the summary of the report:

  • The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Oxycotin, which includes the active ingredient oxycodone, for prescription use in 1995.


  • In 1999, there were 342 deaths from overdoses in Tennessee, and 5 percent of people who received state-funded addiction treatment were abusing prescription pain relievers.


  • Tennessee became one of the first states to implement a substance database that monitors patient prescription history in 2002. That same year, 15.5 percent of young adults who were seeking treatment said that prescription opioids were the primary source of abuse.


  • In 2003, there were 660 deaths in Tennessee due to overdoses.


  • Emergency rooms saw a total of 1,341 patients with issues related to prescription drug abuse in 2005, which was a drastic increase from earlier years.


  • The University of Memphis released a study in 2006 stating that the abuse of opioids was now second to marijuana use in youth and adults in Tennessee.


  • In 2009, the number of deaths from drug overdoses rose to 963, and 27 percent of women and 21 percent of men who were receiving state addiction treatment reported prescription opioids as their main source of substance abuse.


  • 5, 788 people were arrested for crimes related to opioid use in 2010, and 512 babies were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.


  • There were 1,062 deaths related to opioid overdoses in 2011.


  • In 2012, Tennessee officials petitioned the FDA to place warning labels on opioid prescriptions about the risks of neonatal abstinence syndrome. The FDA took action on the petition the next year.


Tennessee also ranked second in the nation for opioid use in 2012.

  • In 2013, the Tennessee Department of Health required all cases of drug-dependent babies to be reported. The state recorded 912 cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome that year.


  • In 2015, CVS pharmacy announced its plans to stock naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdoses, in its Tennessee locations, as well as in 11 other states. Over a dozen police forces around the state train officers to use naloxone in cases of overdose.

That year, there were 1,029 babies born drug-dependent and there were 1,451 deaths from opioids

  • Today, Tennessee ranks second in the rate of opioid prescriptions and the opioid crisis continues to affect people every day.

To see the full report, visit http://tnne.ws/2p6fR4y

To read the full timeline, visit http://tnne.ws/2n9dn0o