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Deaths Attributed Specifically to Prescription Painkillers Drops in Tennessee

Pill photo by (Twenty20)

It’s a little hard to tell, but Tennessee may be turning a corner on prescription pill abuse.
Although fatal opioid overdoses continue to rise throughout the state, deaths attributed specifically to prescription painkillers dropped for the first time in five years. The 12 percent decrease in 2017 is a rare sign of progress in a state ravaged by addiction.
The shrinking painkiller death toll likely is the result of opioid prescriptions gradually becoming weaker and less common throughout Tennessee over the past five years.
Decreasing prescription overdoses but growing fentanyl deaths illustrates the evolution of Tennessee opioid crisis, as doctors and lawmakers crack down on prescriptions and addicts transition to more dangerous illegal drugs.
Opioid overdoses killed 1,268 people in Tennessee in 2017, according to new state overdose statistics. Fentanyl deaths rose 74 percent in 2016, killing 294, then another 70 percent in 2017, killing 500.