The Opioid Epidemic in TN: Background on Reducing Demand for Opioids

Tennessee has made progress in reducing the supply of prescription opioids by targeting efforts to improve provider prescribing practices and reducing the number of pill mills. However, the epidemic is evolving with individuals appearing to switch from prescription opioids to illicit and stronger opioids like heroin and fentanyl. At the same time, opioid overdoses and the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) continue to rise. The nature of addiction explains many of these trends and the continued demand for opioids in Tennessee. (1)

This report takes a comprehensive look at various elements of addressing addiction from prevention to recovery. This is the second in a 3-part series that sets the stage for ongoing analyses of Tennessee’s opioid epidemic.

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