With National Recovery Month in full swing, there’s no better time to take action by spreading awareness, education, and hope when it comes to a nation plagued by drug addiction. We believe change happens when and where action is taken, and that’s why we at Vertava Health are making moves this month in a tour we’ve titled 5 Cities, 5 Days, where our team will be stopping in 5 hard-hit cities, in just as many days.
Our road to recovery starts in the state of Tennessee – where prescription painkiller addiction is one of the highest in the United States. In fact, for every 100 people in the state, there are 143 prescriptions. Take a look at some of Tennessee’s most startling facts:
- Tennesseans 18-25 years of age are using prescription opioids at a 30% higher rate than the national average
- Tennessee tops the nation in painkillers with 143 prescriptions per 100 people
- In 2012, Tennessee required prescribers to check the state’s prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing painkillers.
- In 2013 the state saw a 36% drop in patients who were seeing multiple prescribers to obtain the same drugs, which would put them at a higher risk of overdose.
- Tennessee’s uninsured coupled with a high rate of prescribed painkillers are contributing factors behind the state’s rise in heroin addiction and overdoses, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
- Because of stricter laws regarding prescription painkillers, many in Tennessee are turning to the cheaper, more accessible heroin.
- Most of the increase in transmission of Hepatitis C in Tennessee is due to the sharing of contaminated needles and syringes among intravenous drug users who are abusing both legal and illegal pain medicines.
- A new Tennessee law that aims to cut back the amount of buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) prescribed in the state – a drug intended to help wean people off opioid addiction.
- The number of Tennesseans who die each year due to drug overdoses increased again in 2014, with a record-setting, 1263 deaths.
- 91 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had at least one death attributed to drug overdose in 2014, providing evidence of a statewide problem.
- Roughly 10% of calls to Vertava Health in the past 90 days came from individuals and families in Tennessee
The Volunteer state is crying out for help – and we’re answering that call with education, assessments and scholarship programs for families hit by addiction. Join us along our journey:
Mon. September 7: Chattanooga
Tue. September 8: Knoxville
Wed. September 9: Nashville
Thur. September 10: Jackson
Fri. September 11: Memphis
For those who wish to follow us, but are not on our path, we’ll be posting updates, photos and videos of our journey, interviews and what we find along the way on all of our social media platforms. Follow us with the hashtag #5Cities5Days
We can’t wait to share our journey with you and spread the word of hope, health and healing.