Tenn. Department of Health: Drug Overdose Death Toll Hits Record High
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennesee Department of Health released data showing that 1,451 people died from drug overdoses in the state in 2015. Officials say this is the highest annual number of overdose deaths recorded in state history.
6,036 lives have been lost due to drug overdose deaths in Tennessee in five years.
Tennessee confirmed drug overdose deaths and incidence rates per 100,000 people for the last five years are:
2015 1,451 deaths 22.0 rate 2014 1,263 deaths 19.3 rate 2013 1,166 deaths 17.9 rate 2012 1,094 deaths 16.9 rate 2011 1,062 deaths 16.6 rate
"It is always saddening when the reality of human tragedy involved with substance abuse is brought to light, especially given the fact that overdose deaths can absolutely be prevented," said Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Marie Williams.
East Tennessee drug overdose deaths confirmed in 2015:
Knox County: 153 Blount County: 33 Sevier County: 28 Anderson County: 26 Campbell County: 21 Roane County: 21 Hamblen County: 17 Hawkins County: 16 Monroe County: 12 Claiborne County: 12
Department of Health data shows that nearly 72% of the 1,451 drug overdose deaths in Tennessee involved opioids. 30 percent of opioid-related drug overdose deaths included a combination of opioid and benzodiazepine medications. Fentanyl-related drug deaths rose from 69 deaths in 2014 to 174 deaths in 2015.