Tennessee Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee ranks incredibly high for substance use among other states. For one, roughly 70,000 Tennesseans have an opioid use disorder (OUD).8 Among states reporting prescription drug abuse, Tennessee ranks third in the United States.8 It is estimated that at least 80% of all crime in the state is related to illicit substance use and trafficking.1
Some of the most current statistics regarding substance use in Tennessee include:1, 8, 9, 11
By current estimates, more than 800 methamphetamine labs operate in Tennessee
By the mid-2000s, more Tennessee residents over the age of 26 used prescription opioids illegally than in any other state
Since 2012, total prescription opioids (other than buprenorphine) have decreased significantly
Reports of hydrocodone and oxycodone use in Tennessee have decreased similarly year over year, but heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl-like substances have spiked
3,032 deaths due to opioid overdose were reported in Tennessee in 2020
Among Tennessee youth, illicit substance use, alcohol use, narcotic painkiller misuse, and cigarette use all dropped significantly from 2006 to 2014
During the mid-2000s, the TBI crime labs began uncovering instances of counterfeit painkillers disguised as oxycodone but were fentanyl.1 Heroin has increasingly become a concern for the state as there has been a notable influx of the substance often mixed with fentanyl.1 Moreover, in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin MS areas, the yearly average of individuals using illicit substances starting at age 12 is 218,000—representing 14.7% of the national average.2
Living in Tennessee, I got a crash course in lack of recovery resources when I was searching for treatment in 2010. My state had one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the country, so I naturally assumed we had some of the highest numbers of opioid treatment resources. I quickly realized I was sorely mistaken. When I got online and searched for “treatment centers near me,” all I found were private inpatient rehabs and cash-only outpatient programs that demanded nearly $500 a month (which didn’t include medication costs). It took me two weeks to find an outpatient program I could afford and another month to be accepted from the waiting list. It became painfully obvious Tennessee needed more treatment options.
~ Nikki Seay
What is the Cost of Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Tennessee?
Costs for alcohol and drug rehab in Tennessee vary depending on multiple factors. The most prominent factor is the type of treatment program you require for your recovery.
You should consider the following factors when putting together a budget for your potential Tennessee drug rehabs:
Treatment Type: you need long-term residential (inpatient) treatment or an outpatient program?
Program Duration: How long will you need treatment? Treatment programs typically range from 30 to 90 days but can last longer if needed.
Amenities: What amenities do you want or need? Standard rehabs may offer the necessities, but luxury programs may have on-site gyms, spas, and more.
Location: In which part of Tennessee will you be attending rehab? Costs vary significantly from metropolitan areas to more rural areas.
Coverage: Do you have insurance? Most insurance providers cover at least the basic costs of substance use treatment.
Funding: Are you eligible for state-funded programs, scholarships, or financing plans?
According to the 2020 profile of Tennessee compiled by the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), rehab centers accepted these payment methods:7
Costs should not deter you from getting the help you need. Even if you lack insurance or the financial means to cover out-of-pocket costs, you still have plenty of options with drug and alcohol rehab in Tennessee. Free and low-cost rehab is available, depending on your qualifications.
Free or Low-Cost Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Tennessee
Free or low-cost rehabs in Tennessee mostly are provided by private nonprofits or for-profits. Among the 311 reported centers for alcohol or drug rehab in Tennessee, 143 offer treatment at the minimal amount or without charge, while 12 offer addiction treatment free of charge for everyone. Only 5 state and federal government facilities exist in Tennessee.7
State-funded rehabs are still regular, full-service facilities, only they offer free or at least low-cost treatment programs for substance use disorder. State-funded facilities receive their funding from state and federal government programs to accommodate low-income individuals. The state provides grant money and insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Corporate donations and private scholarships supplement these funding sources.
These facilities operate the same way any other alcohol and drug rehab in Tennessee operates. They provide medical detox programs, interim care if no beds are available, various forms of therapy, recovery housing, peer support groups, and even virtual care.
However, state-funded care is not given without question. Individuals must be eligible to receive this type of care, which requires providing certain information, such as:
- Proof of state residency and citizenship
- Proof of income level (or no income)
- Family size
- Proof of lack of health insurance
Does Insurance Cover Drug Rehab in Tennessee?
Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, healthcare insurers in all states must provide plans that include both substance use disorder and mental health benefits.3 This means that if you have insurance coverage, you should—by law—receive some level of coverage for most Tennessee drug and alcohol rehabs.
Private health insurers, such as United Healthcare, Cigna, Aetna, COBRA, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), should cover at least the general costs of rehab. This would include any mental health conditions you may also need treatment for—with or without rehab.
Your coverage varies based on your provider, insurance plan, and premium. Check with your health insurance provider first to explore the specifics of your coverage. Verify if drug rehab in Tennessee is in network.
Keep in mind: If you have insurance but do not choose an in-network facility, you may have to pay for the full price.
Medicaid works as a state and federal insurance program to provide healthcare to low-income families. Medicaid covers the basics of alcohol and drug rehab. The basics under Medicaid are:
- Intervention assistance
- Medical detox programs
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Family counseling
- Cravings medications and maintenance
Please note that not all clinics for drug and alcohol rehab in Tennessee accept Medicaid. Thus, you should verify with your rehab facility of choice before making arrangements.
Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program. It is designed primarily for disabled individuals and persons over 65 years of age. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is not free. You are required to pay a monthly premium, calculated based on your annual income.
Regarding substance use disorder treatment, Medicare is broken down into four Parts: A, B, C, and D. Each Part outlines the type of treatment benefits your plan entails, meaning you may get full coverage or partial coverage. For example, Part A provides up to 60 days of inpatient treatment, fully covered, whereas Part B covers up to 80% of outpatient care costs.
If you have Medicare, you must check with the Part your plan includes and which drug and alcohol rehabs in Tennessee accept Medicare as payment.
Does My Insurance Cover Alcohol or Drug Rehab in Tennessee?
To find out how much coverage you have regarding substance use treatment, you will need to contact your insurance provider directly via the phone number on the back of your insurance card. The representatives of the provider will explain everything you need to know about your coverage and the type of treatment it can help you with, and which facilities are in-network.
You can also get in touch with our experienced support specialists at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) . Our specialist will ensure that you find an alcohol or drug rehab in Tennessee that is in network with your insurance provider.
How to Finance Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Tennessee
In many cases, insurance alone is not enough to cover the full duration and list of treatment needs. Moreover, you may not be able to cover the out-of-pocket treatment costs. However, there are a few options in getting supplemental funding for drug rehab in Tennessee or complete funding when you do not have any insurance.
Choose a Program That Offers Payment Plans: There are many Tennessee alcohol and drug rehabs that offer monthly payment plans to accommodate different financial situations. These types of payment plans work just like your typical loan, allowing you to make incremental payments for your treatment rather than having to dole out one lump sum before or at the end of the program.
Of course, just like a loan, you will likely have to pay interest or fees associated with the regulations of the facility. Each rehab has its own payment plan system, so you will need to check with each facility to see what types of payment plans they offer.
Apply for a Rehab Scholarship: Rehab scholarships and grants are administered by individual treatment facilities. However, scholarship funding may come directly from the corporations that manage multiple private facilities. Nonprofit foundations are known to contribute to rehab grants and scholarships, which means you have several places to look for this type of funding.
It should be noted that rehab scholarships and grants are only given on an individual basis. This means that your financial situation and substance use disorder must be evaluated before the facility decides if you are eligible for this type of funding.
To determine if your facility of choice offers rehab scholarships, you should contact them directly. You also can find grant opportunities using the SAMHSA website.4
Find a Sliding Scale Rehab Program: Sliding-scale rehab programs are exactly what they sound like—programs that allow you to pay on a sliding scale. These programs offer more flexibility when it comes to paying for treatment as they allow you to make payments based on factors like your income, financial resources, the type of treatment you need, and your ability to make on-time and consistent payments.
Sliding-scale payments will also increase or decrease over time depending on the above factors.
To find out if your treatment facility of choice offers a sliding-scale payment option, you will need to get in touch with them directly. You can also browse through our directory or get in touch with one of our support specialists for more help.
Addiction Treatment Settings
Here is an overview of the different settings of treatment programs offered in the state, so you know what to expect.
Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Tennessee is the most common program among individuals recovering from substance use dependencies. Inpatient care requires that you stay either 30, 60, or 90 days—sometimes longer in more severe cases. During your stay at an inpatient treatment facility, you will be given a room with a bed, meals throughout the day, and a specific schedule to follow. Depending on the facility and what you can afford, you may get a private room or have a roommate. You may also get different amenities, like a rec room or a pool, depending on the type of facility.
When you first arrive at the inpatient facility, you can expect to have your personal belongings thoroughly searched while you fill out the necessary intake forms. This is to ensure that you are not sneaking in any items that are banned by the facility, including illicit substances, for your safety and the safety of all present.
You will also be evaluated and given a customized treatment plan. From there you will be required to attend your scheduled therapy, classes, and more.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial Hospitalization programs (PHPs) are very intensive outpatient treatment programs. PHPs require several hours of treatment and therapy attendance daily, however, these programs operate outside of a residential facility. While they are designed for individuals who cannot commit to residential care due to certain obligations or a lack of availability within the facility, individuals are expected to fulfill their scheduled treatment requirements at the designated facility.
PHPs often serve as a transition from residential care. In some instances, individuals are required to complete inpatient care for 30 days before entering a PHP.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) work much like PHPs in that they require a certain amount of scheduled treatment and therapy each day. The main difference, however, is that rather than being an everyday fulfillment, IOPs typically only require an individual to attend treatment five days per week.
Standard outpatient treatment, unlike PHP and IOS only requires a few hours of scheduled treatment and therapy each week—making them the least intensive of all the outpatient treatment options. However, they also require that individuals attend support group meetings for Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or both.
Keep in mind that while peer support group meetings are typically required for all treatment programs, they are not a substitute for an actual treatment program. However, they are incredibly important for building a strong foundation of support, guidance, understanding, and forging long-term relationships with people experiencing similar struggles.
Telehealth and Online Addiction Treatment
Telehealth (virtual therapy) is a modern form of various health therapies that can make substance use treatment more accessible for individuals that have disabilities or live in isolated locations, making it too difficult to attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
However, if you are someone who required a medical detox program and long-term residential care or even partial hospitalization, virtual drug rehab in Tennessee will not be able to provide you with the necessary support and medical attention needed to recover. Of course, in many cases, telehealth can round out your continuing therapies for the post-residential treatment or even complement your outpatient treatment program.
Most substances work by chemically altering the neural pathways in your brain, which is what causes substance dependence. Eventually, the rest of the body starts to need certain amounts of the substance used most frequently to function properly. Without them, the body will go into a state of withdrawal, almost immediately.
Therefore, many people with substance use disorder will require a medically assisted detox to help rid their bodies of the initial chemical dependence before they can move on to the next part of their treatment program.
Withdrawal is a very stressful and painful ordeal. It can also be life-threatening for those coming down from substances like alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines,5 hence the need for a medically assisted detox that provides constant care and supervision. It also involves medication to aid in symptomatic and pain relief, and cravings control.
Withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, and its severity will depend on a laundry list of factors. For example, the type of substance or substances causing the dependency, existing mental or physical health conditions, and so on.
Regardless of the type of substance or substances used, detox is usually the first step in drug and alcohol rehab in Tennessee.
Specialized Rehab in Tennessee for Unique Populations
There are also options for specialized care when it comes to alcohol and drug rehab in Tennessee. Each program is purposefully designed to cater to certain populations to ensure the recovery outcomes for individuals that fall into these special populations.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) governs veteran-specific rehab facilities. These facilities specialize in providing the necessary medical, social, vocational, and rehabilitation therapies for returning soldiers who have been negatively impacted during their time of active duty.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community struggle with substance use disorders at a higher rate, which doubles that of the general population.6 The factors contributing to this rate include vulnerability to ongoing discrimination, family rejection, stigma, and higher rates of depression.
LGBTQ+ rehabs have a strict focus on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, addressing all the above factors.
Men and women are mentally, emotionally, and physically affected by substance use disorders in very different ways. Therefore, men and women also recover differently, which is why different treatment approaches are required.
Women-only and men-only rehab facilities allow individuals to receive treatment based on specific contributing factors leading to your respective substance use disorder.
Teen rehab focuses on the significant changes—psychological, physiological, and social—that adolescents experience that often contributes to their ongoing substance use.
These facilities are designed to address individual teenager needs to provide proper treatment. They also teach skills to cope with the various pressures that tend to trigger teens to seek out substances. You can find several teen rehabs in Tennessee according to the Adolescent Substance Use Disorders Services Program (ASUDSP).12
Should I Travel for Drug or Alcohol Rehab in Tennessee?
In some cases, traveling to a new state is much more beneficial as it allows individuals to get far away from the environment that made them become substance dependent in the first place. In other cases, it means moving closer to their family for additional support and feelings of safety.
Regional Considerations for Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Tennessee
Tennessee is separated into East, Middle, and West Grand Divisions. However, the Land of Blues also is divided into several major geographical regions, including the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Ridge, the Valley Region, the Appalachian Plateau, the Highland Rim, the Nashville Basin, and the Gulf Coastal Plain.
Tennessee’s most populous cities include Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Jackson. And while they are not heavily populated, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are popular travel spots for out of towners. Here, you will have close access to numerous parks and trailheads that lead into the Great Smokey and Blue Ridge Mountains.
The primary thing to consider when browsing Tennessee drug and alcohol rehabs is which setting will be best for your recovery. Remember that you are traveling for recovery, not vacation. Therefore, a populous city full of nightlife may not be the best choice. Figure out what brings you peace to narrow down your search.
Alcohol and Drug Laws in Tennessee
With the ongoing increase in substance use and its subsequent rise in overdose-related deaths, there is a negative stigma surrounding substance use disorder. It is enough to keep people from seeking treatment for themselves or from helping others when a serious situation arises.
Fortunately, Tennessee legislation is working to tackle this stigma by creating legislation that helps rather than hurts, so individuals with substance use disorders feel safe enough to get the second chance they deserve.
Tennessee State Good Samaritan Law: In 2014, Tennessee became the 18th state to pass the Good Samaritan civil immunity law focusing on naloxone, the lifesaving medicine used in the event of an opioid overdose. Under this law, providers who prescribe naloxone to a patient, family member, friend, or another individual will be immune from any civil suits.
Additionally, this law allows the Department of Health to provide training on how to use naloxone and it protects anyone—even nonmedical personnel—from prosecution if they administer the medicine to someone experiencing an opioid overdose.
Tennessee Addiction Treatment Act: The Tennessee Addiction Treatment act maintains that any person who seeks medical assistance for themselves or someone else during an overdose event will not be subject to the following:
- An arrest, charge, or prosecution for the possession or exchange of the substance and associated paraphernalia in question
- Penalties for violations of restraining orders
- Sanctions or violations of a condition of pretrial release, probation, or parole based on a substance violation
Tennessee Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act: To promote recovery and decriminalize individuals with substance use disorders, Tennessee passed bill HB0881, the Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act. Under this bill, nonviolent drug offenders are allowed to participate in a rehab program instead of serving time behind bars.
Tennessee Reentry Success Act: In addition to the Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act, Tennessee also passed legislation known as the Reentry Success Act. Under this bill, recently released inmates will receive mandatory supervision with an established employer liability shield for felons to help those with criminal records—especially those with a history of substance use on their records—find jobs easier.
The goal is to reintegrate inmates into their communities to reduce reincarceration rates and make cities safer within the state.
Aftercare Options for Post-Rehab Recovery
Life after rehab can be a difficult adjustment. Once you complete your inpatient treatment, returning to daily life means returning to work, friends, family, school, and so on. All these things can trigger cravings, tempting you to relapse. However, that is what aftercare is for.
Aftercare is essentially any type of ongoing care you receive once you leave rehab. During your inpatient treatment, you will come up with an aftercare plan to support your early recovery and help to prevent potential relapse. As you anticipate future challenges, you will counter with a ready solution to keep you on the right path.
Aftercare can include any one of the following elements:
- Residing in a sober living home as you transition out of residential care and resume daily life
- Attending local support group NA or AA meetings
- Continuing individual counseling
- Participating in alumni programs at your rehab
If you need more information about finding the right rehab for you or a loved one, call us at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) . You will speak with a knowledgeable treatment specialist who can inform and direct you toward the best rehab for your needs.
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (n.d.). Current Drug Trends.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Review of Substance Use and Mental Disorders in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin MSA.
- U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Grants.
- Shah, M., & Huecker, M. R. (2022). Opioid Withdrawal. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
- Marshal, M. P., Friedman, M. S., Stall, R., King, K. M., Miles, J., Gold, M. A., Buksteins, O. G., & Morse, J. Q. (2008). Sexual orientation and adolescent substance use: A meta-analysis and methodological review. Addiction, 103(4), 546-556.
- National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). (2022). 2020 N-SSATS State Profile: Tennessee. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Opioids. TN.gov.
- Office of Informatics and Analytics. (2022). Tennessee Drug Overdose Data Dashboard. Tennessee Department of Health.
- Office of Informatics and Analytics. (2021). Tennessee’s Annual Overdose Report 2021: Report on Epidemiologic Data and Projects to Address the Overdose Epidemic. Tennessee Department of Health.
- Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. (2017). Youth Substance Use Declining in Tennessee: Hope for a Brighter Future.
- Adolescent Substance Use Disorders Services Program (ASUDSP). (2020). Provider Listing.