Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the most popular cities in the South. Not only is it a prime place to get some of the best barbeque sauce around, it is also a place that gives residents both the city and country lifestyle. Tennessee has long been known for its vast woods, acres of land, and southern feel, and Knoxville is no different. Despite the comfort and charm that comes with this city, however, rates of drug and alcohol abuse among residents is continuing to increase — a trend that is being seen in nearly all states in America. This is best proven through Knoxville drug use statistics.
Drug Overdoses in Knoxville Surge
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Knoxville was an area in Tennessee that was seeing increasing rates of drug overdoses. However, once the pandemic spiked and took hold, an astronomical number of residents of Knox County lost their lives to drug overdoses. Drug overdoses in the county increased by a startling 41%, with 413 in this specific county alone fatally overdosing. This is a trend that is not specific to Knoxville, rather the entire country. Recent reports state that 93,000 Americans died from an overdose in 2020 alone. That represents a 30% increase from the year prior.
Knoxville Drug Use Statistics: Fentanyl is King
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain medication most frequently used to treat severe pain or within palliative care settings, is by far the most commonly abused substance in the Knoxville area. This specific medication is so potent that it only takes a mere 2 mg of it to be considered a lethal dose. Fentanyl is 100-150 times more potent than morphine, making it a highly dangerous substance to abuse. Despite the risks, this medication has never been more popular in the area. For example, back in the Spring of 2021, a man was arrested in the city of Knoxville for possessing enough fentanyl to “kill the entire population of rural West Tennessee”. Police officers confiscated two pounds worth of fentanyl, as well as 12 pounds methamphetamine, seven pounds of marijuana, and an undisclosed amount of LSD. Fentanyl remains the most common drug-associated drug overdose death in the Knoxville area.
Knoxville is Home to Some of the Highest Rates of Methamphetamine Abuse
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), there are at least 800 active meth labs across Tennessee on any given day. Methamphetamines have been closely linked to drug abuse in Tennessee primarily because of the high rates of opioid abuse that occurs in the state. Many people who find themselves hooked on opioids like fentanyl go back and forth between this specific depressant medication to a stimulant substance like meth. As fentanyl abuse rates increase, so do methamphetamine rates. More people are using meth than ever before, and that is most noticeable in TBI Crime Laboratory Drug Submissions. For the first time ever, marijuana has been knocked out of the top spot for most submissions by meth. In 2019, there were 9,795 marijuana submissions versus 12,072 submissions for meth.
Meth, like fentanyl, remains a highly dangerous substance to abuse not only because of the effects it can produce but also because it can be impossible to tell what other substances are laced with them.
Knoxville Alcohol Use Statistics
Despite Knoxville having as large of a drug abuse problem as they do, they do not seem to have the same statistics regarding alcohol. In fact, Knoxville is the 12th driest city in America, according to reports. Only 12.3% of adults excessively consume alcohol in the Knoxville area, while 28.9% of all driving deaths involve alcohol.
These same reports point out that Knoxville is home to a campus of more than 28,000 college students who attend the University of Tennessee. Cities and towns where campuses are located often have higher rates of alcohol abuse because of the presence of college students in the area. However, that does not apply to Knoxville because these many college students are merely a drop in the bucket for a city with a population of nearly 870,000 residents.
While numbers of those inappropriately consuming alcohol remain low in the Knoxville area, the rates of individuals abusing drugs like meth and fentanyl continue to rise. Thankfully, substance use disorders can be effectively treated, often with a combination of medication and therapy.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Knoxville, TN
If you are experiencing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, know that there is nothing to be ashamed of. We understand the disease of addiction and treat it as such. At Tennessee Valley Recovery, we remain professional yet compassionate so that you can feel right at home when coming to us for care.
If you are ready to start taking steps towards recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, contact us right now. We can help you get started on the road to recovery, all while supporting you along the way.
Do not wait. Reach out to us right now to learn more about how we can help you.