Tennessee’s Drug Abuse Epidemic

In spite of efforts to crack down on the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, a new report shows that nearly 18 million prescriptions for controlled substances like OxyContin and hydrocodone were dispensed in Tennessee last year – a 23% increase from the previous year. The surging figures in the report to the General Assembly are a setback for those on the front lines fighting to get a grip on the prescription drug abuse epidemic that is rampant across the state. Tennessee has some of the highest prescription drug abuse rates in the country. State Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney says the epidemic is so bad here that officials are now projecting that requests for treatment for pill addiction will overtake that for alcohol by 2013.