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Now that 2021 is over you might feel like starting with a clean slate. And that might mean addressing any substance use issues you've developed during the pandemic. Numerous studies such as this one show that substance use increased during the pandemic and is now a problem for an increasing number of people.

Landlocked Tennessee has a population of 6.8 million, and has been listed among the bottom 10 states for healthcare quality for over a decade. As of 2020, the state ranks 40th in the nation for healthcare quality, ease of access to healthcare, and the overall health of its population.

Although healthcare is not currently a strong suit of the state that's home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mental health and alcohol and drug addiction in Tennessee are two areas of particular priority.

In 2020, Tennessee ranked 28th in the nation for its prevalence of mental illness and access to mental healthcare for adults. The annual report from Mental Health America examines data trends in categories relating to the prevalence of mental illness, substance use disorder, thoughts of suicide, and access to care for both adults and adolescents.


While being placed 28th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia might not seem impressive, this statistic has been greatly encouraging to Tennesseans because it represents an upward jump of 11 spots when compared to the 2019 numbers. This was the 4th largest improvement among all states that rose in the rankings in 2020.

Despite this recent improvement in mental healthcare, Tennessee remains greatly challenged by substance abuse issues. Prescription drug abuse, in particular, is a grave concern. The state has the third highest opioid dispensing rate in the nation, surpassed only by Alabama and Arkansas. Similarly, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has been steadily climbing since 1999. Across all age groups, the state also has a higher than average rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

What to Know About Addiction Treatment in Tennessee

In 2018, Tennessee had 221 facilities providing substance abuse treatment services. Considering the size of the state's population, it does not have an especially high ratio of drug rehab centers to residents, and yet you can still find quality addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one if you do a little research.

One of the first things to decide when looking for a recovery center is whether an inpatient or outpatient program is the best fit. Many healthcare professionals and recovering addicts are of the opinion that severe addictions are best treated in a residential treatment center where the patient lives with 24/7 emotional and logistical support from trained staff. Inpatient treatment also includes individual and group therapy, behavioral therapy, specialized trauma support if needed, re-integration education and transition services.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment is typically better suited for people experiencing a less severe addiction, navigating a relapse with an already strong support system, or for people who are not willing to temporarily live away from the familiarity of their home environment.

Of course, cost is also a factor in most people's decisions when selecting at drug treatment facility, but keep in mind that most facilities accept a variety of payment options, including Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance. Additionally, in Tennessee, 142 rehab programs offer a sliding fee scale and 42% offer free treatment or only minimal charges to clients who can't pay the standard fees.

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Find Addiction Treatment in Nashville

There are 118 intensive outpatient programs (IOP) in the state, stretching from Memphis in the west, to Chattanooga in Middle Tennessee, and Sevierville on the eastern edge of the state,

While each facility implements its own protocols and recommendations, most IOP typically involve attendance at a rehab facility for 4-6 hours a day, over the course of a few weeks or up to 90 days. This time is spent on things like medical detox, group and individual therapy to understand the core issues behind the addiction, relapse prevention education, and activating transitional support services.

Although most people associate the word 'addiction' with alcohol and drug abuse, there are many other forms of addiction that can be treated at intensive outpatient programs or even at residential inpatient facilities. Some of these other forms of addiction include:

  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Online sex addiction
  • Internet addiction
  • Plastic surgery addiction
  • Risky behavior addiction

Nashville, Tennessee's most populated city, is home to numerous addiction treatment programs for adults and young adults experiencing chemical or non-chemical addiction. Some of these facilities offer programming specifically for certain groups like members of the LGBTQ+ community, former military personnel, or people recovering from sexual trauma.

One of these targeted programs in Nashville is The Next Door. The Next Door centers women in its substance abuse services framework and provides a faith-based environment for those who find comfort in integrating spiritual beliefs into their recovery journey.

Helpful Addiction Treatment Resources in Memphis

Known worldwide as the home of blues and the birthplace of rock n' roll, Memphis is the county seat of Shelby County, which has a population of almost one million people.

Since 2011, Shelby County has seen a sharp increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths, exceeding the number of deaths due to car accidents in the county for many of those years. Due to its prevalence, most recovery programs in the state are equipped to treat opioid addiction and all other chemical addictions, but some have chosen to customize their treatment regimen for detox and recovery for specific drugs.

For instance, as its name suggests, the Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program (CAAP) focuses entirely on the treatment of cocaine and alcohol abuse. With a strong emphasis on community-based initiatives, CAAP is one of the largest behavioral health and co-occurring mental health disorder service providers in the state. They offer outpatient treatment, residential and extended residential treatment programs, as well as specialized residential options for homeless veterans.

Finding Addiction Treatment in Knoxville

As of 2018, Tennessee's alcohol consumption and binge drinking rates were below the national average, but data is being collected to gauge the perceived spike in heavy drinking due to COVID-19. If ongoing studies confirm this theory, increased rates of alcohol addiction might become a problem for the state of Tennessee and many states throughout the nation.

While its rates of alcohol poisoning and binge drinking are not yet particularly striking, Tennessee is one of the three worst states for opioid prescription dispensations and opioid overdose deaths. If you see yourself, or someone you care about, in these statistics because of an opioid addiction, help is available. Compassionate and certified healthcare professionals want to help you return to sober living.

One such provider is Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, TN. They employ a Complex Care model, which includes a spectrum of specialized services for substance abuse, including intensive care management, intensive outpatient programs, and aftercare support for establishing and maintaining a sober lifestyle as well as ongoing care for lifelong conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, COPD.) Cherokee is also distinct because of its specialized pre-natal, postpartum, and pediatric care services for pregnant women and new mothers who are addicted to opiates.

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Physical Therapy Treatment in Tennessee

Physical health is closely intertwined with mental and emotional health, which is why many people have found that physical therapy plays an important role in their drug and alcohol rehab process and in the aftercare that supports them to maintain a sober lifestyle.

Physical therapy is a much broader speciality than most people realize. By treating a wide range of muscle and joint injuries or disorders, physical therapy can provide pain relief and significant mobility improvements for people whose ability to operate comfortably has been impacted by:

Physical therapy is frequently required after surgery, to restore motion, strength and function. Whether you or a family member has undergone or is planning to undergo a surgical procedure, or has been living with physical discomfort for a long period of time, one well regarded physical therapy provider you can consider in Murfreesboro, TN is Donnelly Physical Therapy. They specialize in orthopedic muscle tears and strains, such as:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer's elbow
  • Hamstring injuries
  • Iliotibial band (ITB) injuries
  • Arthritis pain
  • Plantarfasciltis and spine-related pain.

Mental Health Support Services in Tennessee

While mental health and mental illness are broad terms that encompass a wide range of conditions, two of the most well known mental health challenges are anxiety and depression. 29.8% of adults in Tennessee reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder in 2021.

When mental health difficulties occur in conjunction with a drug or alcohol addiction, the complexity of that person's treatment plan increases and requires thoughtful, skilled care. To receive this kind of specialized support, more and more people are opting for detox programs that include targeted mental health treatment, or they choose to participate in a dedicated mental health rehab program after their drug rehab experience.

If you or a family member are considering checking into an outpatient or inpatient mental health treatment program, it might be helpful to research and learn a bit more about the treatment processes you'll find when you arrive.

A variety of treatment options are available, based on the individual's needs and personal preferences. For example, one tool commonly found on many treatment plans is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a type of talk therapy that identifies distorted thought patterns and beliefs and reshapes them into more functional and adaptive ones.

Some mental health rehab programs also offer more holistic options like experiential therapy, art and music therapy, but the average mental health rehab program typically involves some of all of the following:

  • Individual behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Inpatient or outpatient psychiatric care
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient groups for co-occurring disorders

One local mental health services provider to consider is Kindbridge in Chattanooga. They offer tele-therapy treatments for children, adults, couples, and families, addressing conditions like anxiety, depression, mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, LGBTQ issues, gambling disorder, video gaming disorder, and many others.

Treatment Program Resources

Seeking assistance with mental health challenges and/or addiction is a brave decision that should be commended. However, there are many factors to consider to ensure that you select the right treatment location and program for yourself or your loved one. If you're having a hard time wading through all the details, we're here to help.

On Rehab.com, you'll find information on how to identify and treat substance abuse, such as alcohol dependence and opioid addiction, so that you can find detoxification and recovery programs in your area and start on the road to long-term recovery.

Of course, mental health goes hand in hand with physical health. So whether you're looking for individual therapy in an outpatient setting or residential treatment inpatient program, we can help you find the right mental health and physical therapy services for your needs and budget.

Get Help in Tennessee Now

Selecting the right addiction treatment center, alcohol treatment center, mental health treatment center, or physical therapy treatment provider in Tennessee is that much easier thanks to Rehab.com

  • Call our 24/7 helpline and speak with a care coordinator today: 1-888-702-1717
  • Use our match with care feature to find a treatment center near you. We'll help narrow your search based on your geographic location, timeline, budget, and specific personal needs.
  • Explore the 32,000+ facilities listed on Rehab.com to find the right one for you or your loved one.
This article first appeared on Rehab.com.
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Addiction is a serious issue in the LGBTQ community. So many of our loved ones, friends, and family have had to struggle with this medical condition without the support that they need.

Despite that, there are programs out there today that can help LGBTQ individuals with addiction start their recovery.

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