Northeast TN overdose deaths grew at higher rate than state

NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – While the number of overdose deaths in Tennessee hit an all-time high last year, newly released state data show Northeast Tennessee overdose deaths increased by twice as much, going from 114 in the seven-county region in 2015 to 145 last year.

Of those deaths, more than 80% were linked to opioids, according to our analysis of Tennessee Department of Health data.

In 2016, 43 people died from drug overdoses in Sullivan County, followed by 37 in Washington County and 21 in Hawkins County.

The total overdose death rates in Carter, Hawkins, Sullivan and Washington counties in 2016 was higher than the state average, according to the state’s data.

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