Tennessee, like every other U.S. state, is home to several alarming drug trends and problems. Fortunately, there are a number of entities and organizations combating these issues everyday, including local law enforcement and variations of rehab in Tennessee. However, to effectively address these issues, it is often helpful to understand what drugs are most abused in a given area or state. In Tennessee, five drugs are abused most often.
Defining Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is defined as the consumption of any kind of drug – legal or illegal, prescription or non-prescription – for purposes other than what they are intended to be used for, or when a drug is consumed in excess. Because a drug is being abused, the abuse often leads a user to numerous health risks and consequences, including physical, mental, social, and occupational problems.
Which Are the Most Abused Drugs in Tennessee?
Sadly, dozens of drugs and variations of drugs are abused every day in Tennessee, but five are abused the most. These drugs include:
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there are around 800 methamphetamine labs actively operating at any given time in the state. These labs make the dangerous drug widely available for users, partially explaining why methamphetamine is the most abused drug in Tennessee.
Methamphetamine, often shortened to “meth”, is a powerful and incredibly addictive stimulant drug. When consumed, methamphetamine affects an individual physically as well as mentally. As a stimulant, a person who abuses methamphetamine often experiences increased energy and alertness, a heightened body temperature and blood pressure, and a state of euphoria. However, methamphetamine abuse also leads to many serious side effects, including paranoia, hallucinations, violent behavior, brain deficits, and a high risk for overdose.
Although methamphetamine is the most abused drug in Tennessee, heroin is not far behind. Heroin is an illegal depressant drug made from opium, which is found in certain but rare types of poppy plants. Heroin also affects a consumer’s mind and body; however, heroin’s most significant effect is relieving bodily aches and pains, which is part of what makes the drug so addictive. However, heroin abuse can lead to several negative side effects, including insomnia, mental disorders, brain deficits, and a high risk of overdose as well as hypoxia (a condition where not enough oxygen reaches the brain).
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, one of the most recent and concerning drug trends in the state is the rise of availability and abuse of fentanyl. Like heroin, fentanyl is an opioid. However, it is much more powerful than heroin because it is made from synthetic opium. This makes fentanyl more effective at relieving severe pain, but unfortunately, it also makes fentanyl more deadly. It is an incredibly risky drug to abuse because it is easy to overdose on.
4. Prescription Drugs
Another commonly abused form of drugs in Tennessee are prescription drugs. These drugs range in purpose and side effects. However, consuming any prescription drug in a way unintended or in excess qualifies as drug abuse and can be extremely dangerous.
Despite being the least harmful substance on this list, cannabis is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States, including in Tennessee. Cannabis comes in a variety of forms and primarily affects an individual’s mind. While this drug is legal in many states, it is almost entirely illegal in Tennessee, making most forms of cannabis consumption in the state a form of drug abuse.
Looking for an Effective Drug Rehab in Tennessee?
If you or a loved one is living with a drug abuse problem and looking for an effective drug rehab in Tennessee, our team of addiction specialists is here to help! At Knoxville Recovery Center, we offer a number of drug abuse and addiction treatments and therapies. Contact us for more information today!