The number of Tennesseans who died from drug overdoses hit another record high in 2017, continuing a troubling trend that’s plagued the state for nearly a decade.
Measures to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions, such as hydrocodone and oxycontin, have started to take hold across the state, as illustrated above in an analysis from the Sycamore Institute.
But, the number of people who died from opioid overdoses jumped year over year, in part from a surge in deaths from illicit drugs, according to new data from the Tennessee Department of Health.
The debut pilot study from the new Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy spotlighted the challenge in finding an opioid use disorder treatment that doesn’t require self-pay in four states, including Tennessee, particularly for pregnant women.
Suboxone, a narcotic film strip used in medically-assisted treatment for opioid abuse, ranked number one in a recent list of Tennessee’s most prescribed drugs. But the finding may raise questions about data access and how Tennesseans fill the medication, said experts with different data sets.