Opioid Treatment in Tennessee

Created On Monday, 20, February 2017
Modified On Wednesday, 08, September 2021


When it comes to treating opioid addiction in Tennessee, many different facilities provide the service. But choosing the right one can often be overwhelming, especially if the person has no previous experience with drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Some programs are designed specifically to treat opioid addiction, but be careful.

These programs mainly use opioid replacement drugs and maintain patients on them for life. This can seem like a quick fix because the person is no longer committing crimes by using opioids daily and is now viewed as sober and in recovery. But the person is still entirely dependent on opioids and cannot stop taking them without severe withdrawal symptoms. Traditional rehabs are likely a much better fit for those looking to end their chemical addiction and live a life that is not under the influence. These programs may utilize medications during the detox phase to help ease people off opioids but are generally drug-free and get people off narcotics. These programs began decades ago with Alcoholics Anonymous and have since been adapted to treat many forms of substance abuse and compulsive behavior. Traditional programs have saved countless lives and usually average around four weeks in length. They are mainly inpatient programs, meaning the patient lives there for the duration and does not come and go. They may provide outpatient services for aftercare support, and local support group meetings within this modality are usually easy to find anywhere in Tennessee.

One of the most successful forms of treatment for opioid addiction is holistic drug rehabilitation. Holistic programs utilize no unnecessary medications at any phase and instead focus on rebuilding health and detoxifying the body. This helps the person recover quickly and entirely without maintaining any chemical dependence. They also use intensive counseling to address the underlying reasons why people use drugs. This type of relapse prevention can make holistic programs some of the best for long-term recovery from opioids. These programs can take longer and be more intensive than other forms, but the results can certainly make up for the time and effort it takes to get one's life back from the grips of addiction.

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Tennessee Opioid Possession Penalties

It is illegal in Tennessee to possess opioids without a valid medical prescription. First and second convictions are Class A misdemeanors, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. Third and subsequent convictions are class E felonies and incur a fine of up to $3,000, at least one year (and up to six years) in prison, or both.

In addition to the applicable fines and terms of imprisonment, offenders are required to attend a drug offender school, perform community service work at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment center, or both. The defendant will have to pay for the school's cost unless the judge deems the defendant unable to pay.

In addition to the fine and prison time described above for third and subsequent possession offenses, the defendant will be fined an additional $10,000 if the offense was committed in a drug-free zone. Drug-free zones include areas on or within 1,000 feet of a school, library, park, or recreational area.

Because there are so many different kinds of opioids and some, like heroin, are entirely illegal, penalties can vary. Opioids are broken down into classifications according to their potential for abuse and medical usefulness, with those that are most dangerous receiving the highest penalties for possession. Being charged with possessing large amounts of heroin may incur a different sentence than a small amount of illegally obtained prescription opioids. Always consult your local laws and speak with an attorney if you're facing such charges.

Tennessee Opioid Statistics

In Tennessee, drug overdose deaths involving opioids totaled 1,307 in 2018 (a rate of 19.9).

  • Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly fentanyl and fentanyl analogs) increased from 590 (a rate of 9.3) in 2017 to 827 (a rate of 12.8) in 2018.
  • Heroin-involved deaths are also trending up with 369 deaths (a rate of 5.7) in 2018.
  • Prescription opioids have declined over the past 2-years from 739 deaths (a rate of 11.1) in 2016 to 550 (a rate of 8.2) in 2018.

In 2018, Tennessee providers wrote 81.8 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. This was the third-highest prescribing rate in the country and more than the average U.S. rate of 51.4 prescriptions.

Here is a list of drug detox for opioid addiction in Tennessee. The list can be incomplete, so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.

List of Detox Programs for Narcotic Abuse in Tennessee


Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.