picture of Nashville TN

The United States has been embroiled in a battle with rising rates of alcohol and drug abuse that has been concurrent with a rise in mental health diagnoses. While addiction can be found in any community, any town, state, or country, there are undoubtedly major hotspots where addiction takes hold.

Hotspots: Tennessee Addiction Statistics

The state of Tennessee has been recognized as such as spot when in 2016, the state experienced its greatest number of overdose deaths ever at 1,631 people with the majority of them coming from opioids. Nashville, being a major metropolitan area in Tennessee had its fair share of these casualties.

  • According to Better Tennessee, a resource aimed at educating the population on the substance use crisis in the state, 4% of Tennesseans aged 12 or older are dependent on or abuse alcohol.
  • 2018 drug overdose deaths in Tennessee were estimated to be 1307—about 324 less than the record year of 2016, but still unacceptably high. Deaths (and the rate of) from prescription opioids have lessened from 2016 to 2018, but risk is just as high as prescription rates have not suitably decreased.
  • Synthetic opioids were largely the most common source of overdose deaths and addiction troubles in the state. In 2018, the prescribing rate for opioids was 81.8 per every 100 persons which was significantly higher than the national average of 51.4.

Alcohol Abuse Nashville, Tennessee

Despite the emphasis on decreasing prescription rates for opioids and providing treatment for those addicted to drugs such as morphine, oxycontin, heroin, fentanyl, etc, alcohol use disorders continue to be exceptionally common relative to other substances.

The state has long since had a problem with alcohol abuse—what is now known as alcohol use disorders before the public reform aimed at reducing opioid addiction began. While addiction is addiction, Southeast Addiction (now providing inpatient drug treatment in Nashville, TN) understands that needs may differ based on what substances a person is addicted to. Though, it is important to stress that treatment modalities between alcohol addiction treatment and opioid addiction treatment have more in common than they differ.

Alcoholism in Nashville, TN: Country Music Capital

man playing acoustic guitar

The state’s struggle with rates of alcoholism are not attributable to its reputation as the country music capital of the world, but it certainly isn’t unrelated either.

Nashville, TN is known as the city of music, and musicians have long since been the subject of addiction related struggles. There is a saying something to the effect that the best music is often the result and expression of suffering and struggle. The history of the deep, soulful, and often melancholy tunes of Blues music is a testament to that fact.

Country music is also often the canvas for musicians to wax poetic about their daily struggles and taking solace in simple things. However, to anyone that has listened to country music even briefly can recognize the genre’s common fixation on turning to the bottle when things become difficult.

Alcoholism in country music is often portrayed romantically. At its most innocuous, a good drink is simply the reward for a hard day’s work. Hardly a new sentiment, but scarcely where the sentiment ends. At it’s worst, drowning your sorrows in a sea of liquor becomes a common theme of romantic struggle for (typically) a man misunderstood. Perhaps nowhere is this more succinctly stated than the hit song, “Tear in my Beer” by Hank Williams, which could itself be the name for a genre of songs following a similar theme and formula.

Country music spans the spectrum of addressing alcohol abuse. Some songs glorify the self-destructive behavior while others condemn it and use the medium to draw awareness to the tragedy it brings.

The culture and aesthetic surrounding the music is rife with binge drinking and images of alcohol. The South is well known for having a particular fancy for tailgating parties, where large amounts of liquor and beer are consumed.

If that wasn’t enough to sell the image, many country stars incorporate alcohol and the aesthetic image of its consumption as part of their on-stage presence. This is no different than how people did and continue to utilize smoking as a kind of aesthetic prop in various performative traditions. The irony being that many country stars are known for their turbulent past and present with alcohol addiction and many of them own and market their own brands of liquor. Not owned by a country star, existing brands such as Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky accrue countless references every year in songs and is strongly emblematic with the image of country music.

It is only fair to note that many other genres of music portray substance misuse, but no genre paints binge alcohol consumption quite as affectionately as country music does. Often comingling the imagery of alcohol consumption with religious sentiment and the minimalism the South is fond of.

All in all, country music is not short of heart, soul, and talented musicians. But the genre’s love affair with alcohol is indicative of a greater cultural problem. Musicians draw their muse—their inspiration from real life. And the reality is that there is a dire need for alcohol addiction treatment in Nashville, TN.

Inpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Nashville, TN

Alcohol addiction is one of the most commonly formed addictions due to the widespread availability and social acceptance of both alcohol, and the drinking culture that surrounds it. It can be difficult to notice the progression from casual drinking to dependence, let alone come to grips with it and seek treatment. Yet, we urge anyone struggling with their alcohol usage to seek treatment whether they are having trouble with moderation and simply require therapy, or are suffering from full blown dependence.

Southeast Addiction is committed to providing high quality alcohol addiction treatment in Nashville and surrounding metropolitan areas. We do this through offering standardized programs such as our PHP, IOP, and OP. Additional services such as drug screening, medication management, weekly telehealth sessions, and Vivitrol maintenance, we provide in an effort to offer comprehensive support to our patients.

For those struggling with opioid addiction, medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is also offered at Southeast Addiction. Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, and Methadone are all useful opioid antagonists that can help stem the tides of addiction by blocking the effects of opioids, thus helping free patients from cycles of abuse.

Contact Southeast Addiction today for addiction treatment in Nashville, TN, or Georgia.