Just how bad are drug overdose deaths in the metropolitan Nashville area?

Aug 15, 2019

Credit WMOT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Data provided by the state Department of Health suggests Middle Tennessee isn't immune to the state's ongoing epedemic of drug overdose deaths.

Davidson, Cheatham, and Robertson counties all report per capita drug overdose death rates well above the state average of 2.6 deaths per 10,000 residents.

Cheatham County had by far the Nashville area’s highest per capita fatal overdose death rate in 2017, the most recent year for which numbers are available. The per capita fatality rate in Cheatham County was 15 deaths per 10,000 residents. That’s nearly six times the state average.

Rutherford and Williamson counties had the region’s lowest per capita fatal overdose rates at .6 deaths per 10,000 resdidents.

Metro Nashville suffered 236 overdose deaths in 2017, considerably more than the total number of fatalities in all six contiguous counties combined.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch warns the state will likely see another significant jump in the number of drug overdose deaths reported for 2018. He based that prediction on the increasing number of crime scene drug tests being conducted by TBI crime labs.