Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise in Tennessee

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | 02:22 pm

New State Law on ‘Overdose Antidote’ Naloxone Use Now in Place

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health’s Vital Statistics office today released data on 2013 drug overdose deaths in the state. The 1,166 fatalities last year involved prescribed and illegal drugs, unintentional and intentional overdoses, and compares with 1,094 overdose deaths in 2012. In each of the last two years, more people died from drug overdoses in Tennessee than in either motor vehicle accidents or homicides or suicides*.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Tri-Cities on Friday, July 18

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 | 01:08 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner will join other state and community leaders to discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to the Tri-Cities area on Friday, July 18. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Knoxville on Thursday, July 17

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 | 01:03 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney will join other state and community leaders to discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Knoxville on Thursday, July 17. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Chattanooga on Thursday, July 10

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 | 12:44 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney will join other state and community leaders to discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Chattanooga on Thursday, July 10. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Clarksville on Wednesday, June 25

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | 10:26 am

Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney, Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, and other state and community leaders will discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Clarksville on Wednesday, June 25. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Cookeville on Thursday, June 19

Thursday, June 12, 2014 | 10:35 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney and other state and community leaders will discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Cookeville on Thursday, June 19. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Memphis on Wednesday, June 11

Thursday, June 05, 2014 | 04:33 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney and other state and community leaders will discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Memphis on Wednesday, June 11. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

State Leaders to Discuss Prescription Drug Plan During Visit to Jackson on Tuesday, June 10

Thursday, June 05, 2014 | 04:30 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney and other state and community leaders will discuss a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee during a visit to Jackson on Tuesday, June 10. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

Governor, Commissioners Announce Strategic Plan To Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 | 01:30 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Commissioner E. Douglas Varney and others today to announce “Prescription for Success,” the state’s plan to prevent and treat prescription drug abuse in Tennessee.


Prescription drug abuse is a pervasive, multi-dimensional issue impacting Tennessee individuals, families, and communities. Of the 4,850,000 adults in Tennessee, it is estimated that nearly 5 percent (about 221,000) have used pain relievers, also known as prescription opioids, in the past year for non-medical purposes. Of those, it is estimated that 69,100 are addicted to prescription opioids and require treatment for prescription opioid abuse.