Tennessee Addiction Treatment
Opioid-based painkillers are the most commonly cited drugs among rehab treatment admissions in Tennessee.
In 2014, there were twice as many fatal overdoses from opioid prescription drugs than from motor vehicle accidents in Tennessee.
A major reason why opioid prescription pills are so widely abused is because they’re easy to get. Many people obtain the pills from others who were prescribed the drug. Others buy them from a dealer or steal from friends or relatives. To some, it may seem safer to get high off prescription drugs because they were prescribed by a doctor in the first place. But oftentimes, that turns out to be a fatal mistake.
Despite fast-growing addiction rates, Tennessee residents have realized they need help and are turning to treatment. However, in 2014, roughly 6.5 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 needed – but did not receive – treatment for a drug addiction.
Don’t wait until addiction makes the decision for you. If you or a loved one is suffering, call us as soon as possible to get treatment.
Laws of Tennessee Drug Abuse
There are two types of drug possession offenses in Tennessee: simple possession, and possession with intent. Simple possession is considered a minor offense. In addition to fines and jail time, you may be required to complete a drug education class. However, possession with intent is taken more seriously and could result in being charged with a felony.
Drug possession is defined in more ways than simply having the substance in your pocket. Finding drugs in your home or car counts as possession. Even if the substance isn’t yours, you can still face penalties.
Drug charges are based on a number of factors, including the type of drug, how much was found and how many previous crimes the offender has committed. Each type of drug is categorized into seven different schedules, depending on the drug’s potential for addiction and its perceived medicinal value. Schedule I drugs have the highest level of dependency and the lowest value in a medical setting. These drugs usually carry the toughest penalties. Schedule VI and VII drugs have the lowest perceived level of dependency and the greatest medical value.
|Drug Classification||Charge||Maximum Penalty||Drug Examples|
|Schedule I||Class B felony||30 years in prison and fine up to $25,000||Heroin, LSD, methaqualone, MDMA|
|Schedule II||Class C felony||15 years in prison and fine up to $10,000||Cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, amobarbital|
|Schedule III||Class D felony||12 years in prison and fine up to $5,000||Anabolic steroids|
|Schedule IV||Class D felony||12 years in prison and fine up to $5,000||Phenobarbital, Fenfluramine|
|Schedule V||Class E felony||6 years in prison and fine up to $3,000||Medicines that contain no more than 200 mg of codeine|
|Schedule VI||Depends on amount||Depends on amount||Marijuana, hashish, synthetic marijuana|
|Schedule VII||Class E felony||6 years in prison and fine up to $3,000||Butyl nitrate|
Marijuana is classified as a schedule VI drug under Tennessee law. While marijuana drug possession is treated differently than other offenses, the penalties are still harsh. Simple possession of a half ounce of marijuana or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and maximum fine of $2,500. Fines for simple possession are mandatory in the state. First-time offenses incur a minimum fine of $250, and subsequent offenses require a $500 minimum fine.
Possession with intent carries a much tougher punishment. Violators found guilty of possession with intent can face a maximum fine of $200,000 and up to 60 years in prison.
Tennessee’s medical marijuana law allows the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a low-THC oil derived from the cannabis plant. Under state law, the CBD cannot contain more than 0.6 percent of THC. The use of CBD is only allowed for severe or terminal illnesses.
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Addiction Treatment Laws in Tennessee
Many Tennesseans know someone who has fallen prey to an addiction or even lost a loved one to it. This is why Tennessee officials, harm reduction advocates and communities have come together to shed light on the statewide epidemic.
Tennessee’s 911 Good Samaritan Law
Tennessee introduced a 911 Good Samaritan law in 2014, which was enacted to grant legal protection to anyone who seeks medical assistance for a drug overdose. Under the law, anyone who experiences or witnesses someone having an opioid-related overdose can call 911 without being charged or arrested for drug abuse. This law only extends protection to first-time overdoses.
The law also provides legal access to naloxone, a medication that has the power to reverse an opioid overdose. However, in order for naloxone to work, a person must know the proper way to administer the drug. The law authorizes training programs for family members and friends of someone at risk of an opioid overdose, as well as first responders, to learn how to administer naloxone and save someone’s life.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Box Programs
Many Tennessee officials have started tracing the steps that lead to the state’s opioid epidemic. As it turns out, some patients are over-prescribed drugs meant to treat their conditions. Physicians and pharmacists have combatted this by dialing back the number of pills and refills allowed for patients.
As a secondary response to these ongoing issues, Tennessee implemented the prescription drug take-back box program. The boxes, which look like mailboxes and are located in almost every region throughout the state, provide a safe and environmentally friendly disposal method for any unused drugs and medicines.
Prescription drug take-back boxes prevent prescriptions and over-the-counter medications from getting into the hands of those susceptible to addiction, including children and teens. They also curb the flow of drugs into the illegal drug market.
Treatment Centers in Tennessee
Every single day, people in Tennessee and across the nation are getting treatment to free themselves from substance addiction. While substance addiction cannot be 100 percent cured, it can be treated.
Tennessee is just one of many states in the nation with a wide array of comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs. Tennessee also has state-funded options available to residents who qualify. Funding for these centers is made possible by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant. People with an alcohol or drug dependency, or a co-occurring disorder, can benefit from Tennessee’s state-funded services, including:
- Outpatient treatment
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Post-recovery halfway houses
- Long-term residential therapy
- Social detox (a counseling, medication-free approach to treatment)
- Medical detox (treatment in a hospital setting with medical care)
State-funded treatment is also provided to adolescents aged 13 to 18 who suffer from an alcohol or drug-related substance abuse disorder. Residential, outpatient and counseling services are available, including:
- Family and relationship support
- Trauma counseling
- Recovery skills counseling
- Nursing assessments
- Recovery skills and activities
While Tennessee’s treatment programs are equipped to address many forms of addiction, it’s important to remember that no rehab is one size fits all.
When reviewing your options, take into consideration that the right treatment for you could be far from home.
Traveling for rehab is often the most effective treatment option because you’re further away from the environmental factors that once caused your addiction. You can begin recovery with a fresh new mindset and focus on building the positive habits you’ll take with you on the journey to recovery.
Contact a treatment provider to talk about rehab options.