Drug overdose deaths in Tennessee jump to record high in 2016

CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS

Sept. 20, 2017 — Deaths from drug overdoses climbed to a new high of 1,631 in Tennessee in 2016, more than double what was seen statewide just five years ago.

The Sycamore Institute, a nonprofit research organization, also reported recently that Tennessee has enacted a number of policies to limit the supply of prescription opioids by publishing prescription guidelines and regulating pain management clinics.

However, the institute argued more can be done to slow the crisis, including improved sharing of data among state agencies.

“A majority of Tennessee’s opioid overdose data comes from hospitals and death certificates, and the lag time can be months or years,” the institute’s report read. “Access to real-time data and full use of existing datasets across both public health and law enforcement could improve prevention efforts.”

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