U.S. drug overdose deaths are falling. That's not the case in Tennessee

Posted at 9:53 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 19:17:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — You may have seen the headline that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. fell in 2018, the first such drop in decades. While that is the case nationwide, a look at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that's not the case in Tennessee.

Predicted overdose deaths rose to 1,939 in the state in 2018, up 4.8% from 2017. That includes 1,837 confirmed deaths. The rest remain currently unconfirmed by toxicology tests.

Kentucky not only saw a decline, but a larger drop than nationwide numbers. Predicted overdose deaths fell 15.1% in 2018, down to 1,573. (1,336 were confirmed) The nationwide rate fell 5.1%

The CDC numbers don't reveal which drugs are responsible for the number of overdose deaths on the state level.

Nationwide, the majority of overdose deaths involved opioids including oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. But nearly half involved synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and tramadol.