Tennessee, home to the famous Smokey Mountains and several iconic American cities, also struggles with deep-rooted substance abuse problems. As a result of a growing trend in substance use and drug-related overdoses, local officials have increased addiction treatment efforts in Tennessee in a variety of different ways. With more well-qualified treatment centers and initiatives to combat addiction on a community level, it is now easier than ever to get the services you need to recover from a substance use disorder (SUD).
Addiction in Tennessee
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) found that Tennessee is ranked third in states with the highest rates of prescription drug abuse1. In addition to this, methamphetamine and opioid drugs continue to dominate. In fact, the opioid crisis in Tennessee has reached an all-time high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that 1,630 residents per 100,000 died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone, which is considered to be a record number for the state of Tennessee2. Of this figure, slightly more than half are Caucasian males.
Dangers of Fentanyl
Public health officials are increasing efforts to warn the public against fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. This drug is rapidly increasing in popularity in Tennessee. While fentanyl is a legal substance approved for medical use, most cases of it are obtained illegally. Officials have found an alarming amount of heroin and other substances laced with fentanyl, as well as counterfeit prescription pills. Use of these illegal forms of fentanyl can significantly increase the risk of accidental overdose and complications caused by unknown chemicals mixed with it.
A Growing Prevalence
Substance use and crime often go hand in hand. The TBI noted that about 80 percent of crimes in Tennessee are related to drugs in some way. This is well above the national average, making it critical for authorities to aggressively address the issue. Several different factors affect the growing prevalence of opioid addiction in Tennessee. Firstly, physicians in the state are too lenient with prescribing addictive substances.
The Tennessean found that Tennessee has the second highest rate of medical prescriptions per person in the United States3. Unfortunately, many people become addicted through this route and may end up abusing street drugs such as heroin once their prescription runs out. Street drugs are often a less expensive alternative for those struggling with a prescription pill addiction.
Another problem is the frequency of “doctor shopping” in Tennessee. Individuals and drug dealers alike often visit several physicians at a time for the sole purpose of obtaining prescriptions and acquiring a large volume of pills. Many people are also unaware of the risks associated with prescription drugs and may assume that they are safer to abuse than street drugs. Finally, a strong social stigma associated with addiction may push people to hide their disease out of fear of judgment.
Tennessee Prevention & Programs for Sobriety
The state of Tennessee has taken large steps to address its rising addiction rates. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) serves as a leading resource for educating members of the community as well as helping individuals living with a SUD get the services they need. Prevention plays a significant role in the state’s plan to reduce substance use. It also aims to decrease the treatment gap by providing more attainable Tennessee addiction treatment options and to decrease the flow of illegal drugs through law enforcement efforts.
Adolescent Substance Use Disorders Services Program
This program is designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 who have a current SUD diagnosis. It also treats individuals with co-occurring disorders. It offers residential Tennessee addiction treatment, day treatment, and outpatient programs to teens as well as family support services.
Adult Substance Abuse Treatment
The Adult Substance Abuse Treatment program is designed for adults living with an alcohol or drug use disorder or co-occurring disorder. It offers a variety of treatment options that include inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization. In addition to this, it provides relapse prevention services as well as halfway housing to individuals in need.
Crisis Detoxification is a unique program that is administered by the Medically Monitored Withdrawal Management Services (MMWM). It is designed to provide immediate care for individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Experiencing a current mental health crisis and is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- Has a diagnosis for a SUD
- Has no financial means for treatment
- Is ineligible for Medicaid or TennCare
Crisis Detoxification provides professional detoxification services from a team of nurses and doctors. It can also help individuals get into a treatment plan afterward. This program can prevent overdose and reoccurring relapse among participants.
Recovery Support Services
This program is largely based on relapse prevention strategies. It is available for adults in Tennessee who have a current SUD diagnosis. Recovery Support Services provides screening for substance abuse, case management, and coaching, in addition to skills training. It also offers transportation for its clients to and from services.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides the SABG to the state of Tennessee as a means of increasing prevention, treatment, and recovery support services in-state. This grant prioritizes treatment for individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Intravenous substance use
- Pregnant substance users
- Crisis detoxification participants
The SABG offers evidence-based treatment services, which include detoxification, admission into an inpatient or outpatient Tennessee addiction treatment center, and HIV outreach.
Substance Abuse Screenings in Tennessee (SBIRT-TN)
This patient-centered program aims to identify substance use early on and prevent it from escalating into addiction. It relies on educational tools and low-intensity interventions and also provides referrals for motivational interviewing and behavioral mental health services, which can further combat the formation of a serious SUD.
Tennessee Addiction Treatment Options
There are many different approaches to treatment available in Tennessee. However, finding the right match for your specific needs can be challenging. Learning about the available formats and carefully comparing them is the first step toward making the best decision possible for long-term successful treatment.
Most people opt for inpatient treatment, which is also known as residential rehabilitation. It is associated with the highest success rates for recovery, and for good reason. It offers a complete change of environment in a safe and recovery-minded setting, easy access to support from professionals, and structured treatment routines. Inpatient programs are available in short- and long-term durations.
A typical short-term program lasts 90 days while a long-term option can extend upwards of six months. Both options require clients to temporarily relocate to a treatment facility. This is a difficult decision for many people; however, it is a critical part of the treatment process. Environment plays a large role in addiction for many reasons. For starters, many people struggle with a dysfunctional home-life, which pushes them to continue to use substances. In addition to this, others may live with individuals who also have an active SUD. Relocating addresses these issues as well as other environmental factors.
Individuals who have a persistent SUD or who have not had success in an outpatient program are ideal candidates for residential care, as it is the most intensive option available in terms of Tennessee addiction treatment. It is also beneficial for the treatment of co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis. This refers to the presence of both a SUD and mental illness.
Outpatient rehabilitation is a less intensive option that offers more flexibility. It may be a good match for individuals with a relatively new or moderate addiction and who have a healthy home environment and a reliable support system in place. Outpatient treatment does not require relocation, which allows clients to maintain their current responsibilities, such as work. However, it is associated with a higher risk of relapse because of this.
Typical outpatient programs occur for a few set hours in the daytime, after which clients are able to return home and apply what they have learned. This factor gives clients the chance to practice their skills in their normal setting and return to treatment to discuss their results. Most outpatient programs last less than 90 days. Both inpatient and outpatient programs offer similar services, such as the following options:
- Coaching and counseling
- On-site amenities such as recreational activities
- Relapse prevention training
- Aftercare support services
- Medical detoxification
The Addiction Treatment Process
Tennessee addiction treatment is best understood through three distinct phases: detoxification, treatment, and aftercare.
Detoxification, or detox for short, is the starting point in the road to recovery. Many rehabilitation facilities provide this critical service on-site. Detox is the process of releasing harmful substances in a safe, controlled, and supervised manner. Medical professionals continuously monitor clients during it and can administer medication as needed to control intense withdrawal symptoms. Most detox programs last less than two weeks, after which clients are able to transition into the treatment phase. Detox is capable of breaking the body’s physical dependence on substances, which in turn reduces cravings and urges. Many participants find that it gives them mental clarity and motivation for actively participating in a treatment plan as well.
Withdrawal symptoms are a normal part of recovery but can lead even the strongest-willed individuals to relapse due to intense discomfort. Detoxing in a medical setting eliminates this risk entirely.
Aftercare services are the final step in the process of recovery and are made available upon completion of addiction treatment such as inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation. Aftercare services are designed to help clients maintain successful recovery upon returning to their usual routine. Maintaining sobriety after rehabilitation is challenging for many people, especially if they return to an unhealthy environment where addiction is prevalent. Aftercare services incorporate coaching and therapy and encourage participants to get involved in community support organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and other options.
Understanding the Role of Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Therapy is the hallmark of addiction treatment in Tennessee and plays an important role during treatment and aftercare. Many people associate therapy with mental illness exclusively, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Therapy can help individuals living with addiction learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways, overcome underlying problems that contribute to their addiction, and resolve conflicts with loved ones—all of which contribute to increased sobriety rates.
There is no single type of therapy used to treat addiction. Instead, service providers have found that a variety of different approaches provide the best outcome. Most rehabilitation programs offer both one-on-one and group therapies to tackle different issues. Individual counseling addresses issues that are client-centered and specific to each person, while group formats focus on all participants as a whole. The following types of therapy are most popular in the treatment of addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT counselors focus on helping clients recognize thoughts, moods, and situations that influence their decision to use substances. Once these patterns are discovered, counselors teach clients healthier alternatives that are congruent with sobriety.
This type of therapy offers a private setting where clients work directly with a therapist to overcome issues that they may be experiencing. Individual counseling also teaches coping skills that are individualized to each person. Clients may choose to allow loved ones to get involved in some cases.
Group therapy offers a highly social approach to treatment. It provides a safe space where all participants can express themselves and learn from each other. Led by qualified counselors, group therapy often incorporates homework assignments, role-playing, and worksheets.
Motivational interviewing is becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of addictions because it can increase an individual’s own motivation to maintain sobriety. As a result, participants are less likely to relapse. Counselors in this field use talk therapy to encourage clients to express their reasons for using substances and then work with them to resolve these issues.
Therapy is most apparent during treatment but may also be used as part of aftercare on a less frequent basis. Individual counseling and group therapy are most common during this phase. In addition to this, many people find that ongoing participation in therapy is helpful for preventing relapse on a long-term basis. Other options such as family therapy, art or music therapy, and more may also be beneficial depending on your circumstances.
At Silver Ridge, we are committed to helping you overcome addiction once and for all. With evidence-based treatment methods and a team of knowledgeable staff, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. To get started on your own recovery journey, get in touch with us directly today!