Tennessee Drug Deaths Up 250% in Past Decade

Feb 21, 2013

CHICAGO (AP/WMOT) — Drug overdose deaths are up dramatically here in Tennessee and in the nation.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there were more than 38,000 drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2010. Of those deaths, 1059 occurred here in Tennessee.

Prescription narcotics were involved in nearly 60 percent of those deaths, overshadowing those from illicit drugs. OxyContin and Vicodin contributed to 3 out of 4 medication overdose deaths.

Drug overdose fatalities have risen by more than 250 percent over the last decade in Tennessee and now exceed the number of traffic deaths seen in the state each year.

The CDC report appeared Tuesday in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.