Do you know the long-term effects of substance abuse? Alcohol and drug use can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health. Regular substance use can lead to chronic diseases, organ damage, and an increased risk of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Tennessee recently expanded its safety net for uninsured adults with behavioral health needs, but those services only target about 11% of people with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. In addition, people with untreated mental health or substance abuse problems may not recognize the need for treatment or seek it because of stigma or fear of discrimination.
The liver plays a vital role in the body's metabolism and detoxification processes, which can be severely compromised by long-term substance use. More children, teens and young adults in Tennessee also reported mental health problems in recent years than in the past. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides nationally representative data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs; substance use disorders; the reception of substance use treatment; mental health problems; and the use of mental health services among the non-institutionalized civilian population aged 12 and older in the United States. According to survey data from recent years, 52% of Tennessee adults with a mental illness, 57% of children diagnosed with mental and behavioral health conditions, and 83% of adults with drug treatment needs said they had not received care in the previous year.
In other cases, drug use can trigger or worsen these mental health conditions, particularly in people with specific vulnerabilities. A state of resilience, recovery, and independence where Tennesseans living with mental illness and substance use disorders thrive. In Tennessee, alcohol-induced deaths are more common in the central and eastern parts of the state (Figure 1) and among adults ages 55 to 64 (Figure 1). Available data and early studies suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health and substance abuse needs in Tennessee and across the country.
The department administers services for people of all ages who live with mental illness, co-occurring disorders, or severe emotional disorders. Services include housing, crisis services, suicide prevention, and peer-to-peer recovery. The data provides estimates of substance use and mental illness at the national, state and substate levels. Data from the NSDUH also help identify the extent of substance use and mental illness among different subgroups, estimate trends over time, and determine the need for treatment services. Demarco Moore, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, currently blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery.
To help policy makers decide how to use new federal funding for behavioral health, this report examines recent data on mental health and substance use in Tennessee before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Substance abuse can have serious physical implications on your body if left untreated. Long-term alcohol or drug use can lead to chronic diseases such as liver damage or organ failure. It can also increase your risk for developing mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. In Tennessee specifically, alcohol-induced deaths are more common in certain parts of the state as well as among adults ages 55 to 64. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides nationally representative data on substance use disorders as well as mental health problems among non-institutionalized civilians aged 12+.
According to survey data from recent years, 52% of Tennessee adults with a mental illness have not received care in the previous year. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these issues across Tennessee. The department administers services for people living with mental illness or substance abuse disorders including housing assistance, crisis services, suicide prevention programs, peer-to-peer recovery support groups, etc. Demarco Moore is a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University who blogs about drug addiction treatment to help save lives at Landmark Recovery.
This report examines recent data on mental health and substance abuse in Tennessee before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to help policy makers decide how to best utilize new federal funding for behavioral health.