“In 2015, state officials reported at least 1,451 men, women and children died from drug overdoses in Tennessee – but that’s far from an accurate count.
There are likely hundreds more. No one knows the true number.
Drug deaths reported in Tennessee are fundamentally flawed and represent an under-count of the toll taken by opioids, the nation’s most deadly drug epidemic, a USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee investigation found.
Tennessee found multiple levels of breakdowns in death investigations, making it impossible to sketch the mortality rate from drug abuse or overdoses, including:
- Inconsistencies in how medical examiners, hospitals and law enforcement officials flag possible overdose deaths.
- County budget constraints that limit the number of autopsies performed.
- Incomplete or inaccurate information recorded on death certificates.
Source: Tennessean.com – August 25, 2017