According to the CDC, in 2016 Sumner County, TN had an opioid prescription rate of about 90.9 per 100 people, which is a very high number. This number was reduced in 2018 to 81.8 as per a later CDC report. Tennessee, in general, is one of the highest-ranking states in terms of frequency of prescribing opioids.
In Tennessee, drug overdose deaths involving opioids numbered 1,307 in 2018. While opioid prescribing is down overall in the United States, deaths involving methadone and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Heroin deaths are also on the rise. While curtailing the prescription of opioids to patients is a necessity, there is an unfortunate side effect that those who are addicted will turn to illegal street drugs to meet their needs.
Sumner County was one of the 8 counties in Tennessee that experienced an increase in opioid (including heroin) overdose visits from 2017-2018 according to the state’s government website. Total heroin overdose outpatient visits in Sumner county had an increase of greater than or equal to 10. Hendersonville, the largest city in the county, has experienced the ill effects of this wave of addiction that is currently plaguing the state with an increase of drug overdose deaths.