Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Tennessee
Each year, approximately 946,000 Tennesseans – 13.98% of the state population – use illegal drugs, and another 269,000 – 3.97% of the state population – abuse alcohol. As a consequence, 10.67% of all deaths in Tennessee between 2008 and 2017 were caused by drugs and alcohol. While a significant percentage, it is, however, below the national average for drug- and alcohol-induced deaths of 12.71% by more than two percentage points. Among Tennessee’s three most populous cities, Nashville, the state capital, had the highest rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths at 11.89%, followed by Knoxville, with a death rate of 11.64%. Memphis had the lowest rate of such deaths at 7.99%.
This guide was created to help the many residents of Tennessee who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Tennessee.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Tennessee, you can use our directory to locate low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabilitation centers qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the state.
Table of Contents
I. Getting Help
Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Tennessee
If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you – as it is for many – and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to receive help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 266 substance abuse treatment centers in the state of Tennessee. Of those 266 centers, Meharry Medical College Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center in Nashville received the highest overall score based on our five core metrics.
Located in Nashville, Meharry Medical College Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center had the highest overall score of 8.3 points out of 10 possible points, earning it the top spot in our rankings. The center provides substance abuse rehabilitation services – including medication-assisted treatment, detoxification services, and the acceptance of patients on opioid medication – to adolescents and adults in residential, inpatient, and regular and intensive outpatient settings. Its top-performing category for which it earned full points was Ancillary Services, with offerings ranging from housing and transportation assistance to employment counseling and training to tobacco cessation counseling to providing sleeping accommodations for the children of residential clients, among many more. The center also offers a host of special programs custom-tailored to unique populations, such as veterans, members of the LGBT community, pregnant/postpartum women, individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, and several others. Treatment Approaches were an additional category of strength and include such modalities as cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-related counseling, both 12-step facilitation and Matrix Model approaches, relapse prevention, and more. Its lowest score was in the category of Cost; however, the center does accept a wide range of payment options, including Medicare, Medicaid and other state-financed health insurance, government funding for substance abuse programs, TRICARE, private health insurance, and self-payment, in addition to offering payment assistance.
Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services Anderson County Center, located in Oak Ridge, received an overall score of 7.5 points out of 10 points. The center provides inpatient and outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation services to adults, including medication-assisted treatment, detoxification services, and acceptance of patients on opioid medication. Its greatest strength was in the category of Treatment Approaches — it earned maximum points for its use of rational emotive behavioral therapy, anger management, motivational interviewing/incentives, and community reinforcement plus vouchers, among other methods.
Ancillary Services was another top-performing category due to the center’s wealth of options intended to complement and promote clients’ long-term recovery, such as nicotine replacement therapy, comprehensive mental health assessments, treatment for non-substance abuse addiction disorders, social skills development, aftercare, and additional forms of assistance. The center’s greatest weakness was in the category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics, which are limited to individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, clients referred from the court or judicial system, and pregnant/postpartum women.
With an overall score of 6.9 out of 10 points, Frontier Health Magnolia Ridge Residential Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Johnson City received third place in our rankings. The center offers residential substance abuse rehabilitation services to adults, including medication-assisted treatment and detoxification services; however, it does not provide treatment for opioid addiction. It scored highest in the category of Ancillary Services, which includes such options as individual/group/marital/family counseling, HIV/AIDS education and support, assistance with obtaining social services, discharge planning, and many more. It also implements a multitude of treatment approaches, ranging from cognitive, dialectical, and rational emotive behavioral therapies; trauma-related counseling, relapse prevention, and several more. Conversely, the center offers a limited number of special programs that cater to specific populations — these are available only to individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Rehabilitation Services Provided: 8.35
Treatment Approaches: 7.15
Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 3.75
Ancillary Services: 9.52
Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Tennessee
105 North James Campbell Boulevard Columbia, TN 38401 Main Tel: 931-388-9406
Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Tennessee
Start by contacting your referral center
The Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & Other Addiction Services (TAADAS) coordinates The Tennessee REDLINE — a resource that provides information and referrals to substance abuse treatment and recovery services to residents struggling with substance abuse and addiction, including individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders. Reachable by phone or chat 24/7, REDLINE representatives strive to offer at least three referrals for relevant resources to each individual who seeks assistance. These resources consist of TAADAS member agencies, state-funded programs, and other statewide service providers.
Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) also supplies a provider directory of substance abuse treatment services that are contracted with the state and funded through the federal government. However, to qualify for treatment, residents must meet designated federal poverty guidelines.
Additionally, TDMHSAS provides Tennessee residents with a further resource: a Helpline staffed by advocates who can assist individuals experiencing difficulty accessing substance use and mental health disorder services. Advocates listen to problems and offer solutions, as well as inform individuals of their rights and ensure provider agencies are adhering to state and federal guidelines. Helpline advocates can also locate local substance abuse and mental health resources and communicate with substance abuse and mental health providers on behalf of residents. The Helpline is available free of charge Monday through Friday.
Furthermore, the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) shares a map of mental health organizations and other non-profit groups that offer ehavioral health services across the state. These providers operate as a part of Tennessee’s TennCare Medicaid program but also frequently accept commercial insurance or direct payments, in addition to providing services free of charge to residents who cannot afford them.
Low-income residents of Tennessee may qualify for Medicaid services to help cover the cost of substance abuse treatment. To learn if you qualify for low-income Medicaid services, and to determine eligibility, visit the TennCare Medicaid website.
Use our database to find a treatment center near you
The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Tennessee recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant treatment centers near you.
Many different methods are available for treating addiction, and the science of studying addiction is constantly improving and changing. However, the core pieces of rehabilitation are generally very similar.
Substance use disorder and PTSD go hand-in-hand for many veterans
Veterans face unique challenges that can place them at higher risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) than the general population. The primary factor leading to this increased risk is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while other situations, such as unemployment, homelessness and chronic pain, can also be contributing factors. Furthermore, individuals – including veterans – with a substance use disorder are more likely to develop PTSD, so the problem is cyclical in nature.
1 in 3
veterans seeking treatment for a SUD also has PTSD
1 in 4
veterans with PTSD also has a SUD
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, as of early 2019, nearly one of every three veterans who seeks treatment for a substance use disorder also has a PTSD diagnosis. Similarly, over one in four veterans who has received a diagnosis of PTSD is also struggling with a substance use disorder. Furthermore, for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one in 10 of those individuals who visits a VA health care facility has a substance use disorder.
However, there is hope for veterans suffering from a substance use disorder, as they have access to additional resources for treatment for an SUD or co-occurring SUD and PTSD, and VA benefits often cover the cost of this treatment. To find help with substance abuse treatment from the VA healthcare system, follow these steps:
Enroll: If you aren’t already enrolled, you can check if you are eligible for VA health benefits and then complete the application. You can also research the Department of Veterans Affairs Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program. This program is available in VA medical centers and outpatient clinics around the United States and provides a variety of treatment options, such as rehabilitation, detoxification, and psychiatric services, for veterans addicted to drugs and alcohol. Keep in mind that you must already be enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be considered for the program.
Discover: Find out whether your local VA medical center provides substance use disorder (SUD) treatment by calling or visiting the center. If you don’t know where the closest VA medical center is located, call the VA hotline at 800-827-1000 to find out or click here for a comprehensive search of VA locations around the United States.
Find Treatment: Veterans in Tennessee can reach out to their local VA medical center to search for information on substance abuse treatment, including the possibility of a VA-based substance use disorder (SUD) program, in their state. Additionally, they can receive supportive services for addiction through the Operation Stand Down Tennessee Transitional Housing Program and find veterans resources through the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services.
Treatment is available for veterans in Tennessee who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 28 substance abuse treatment facilities in Tennessee – representing 12.9% of all treatment facilities – catered specifically to veterans.
Adolescents in Tennessee use marijuana and alcohol at rates significantly lower than the national average
of adolescents aged 12-17 used marijuana, 2014-2017
of adolescents aged 12-17 drank alcohol, 2014-2017
Between 2014 and 2017, 5.1% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Tennessee reported engaging in marijuana use in the past month, below the national average of 6.8% by more than one-and-a-half percentage points. In terms of alcohol use, 7.6% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Tennessee had taken part in the behavior in the past month, lower than the national average of 10.1% by two-and-a-half percentage points. Additionally, 3.6% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse treatment program in Tennessee in 2017 were aged 12-17. To overcome the challenges that youth face in recovering from substance addiction, some treatment centers provide adolescent-specific treatment programs.
Additional Resources for Parents and Teachers
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services offers an Adolescent Substance Use Disorders Services Program for Tennesseans between the ages of 13 and 18 years who have either a substance abuse or dependency diagnosis or a dual diagnosis of a substance use disorder combined with a mental health disorder. Residents can access a provider listing for these services, which includes residential and outpatient treatment options. Further information about this program is available on the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services website.
Kidcentral TN also supplies a database of statewide providers that offer services intended for Tennessee youth. A search for “substance abuse” identifies resources for preventing alcohol and drug abuse, as well as treating substance use disorders among young Tennesseans.
Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse and mental health issues tend to go hand-in-hand – the technical term is “co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2017, 45.6% of adults with a substance use disorder also had a mental health disorder, and 18.3% of adults with a mental health disorder also had a substance use disorder. For adolescents in 2017, 35.9% of those with a substance use disorder also had a major depressive episode, while 10.7% of adolescents with a major depressive episode also had a substance use disorder.
Mental Health Resources & Treatment
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or severe anxiety, there are many resources from which to receive help.
Below are a few ways to receive immediate assistance, as advised by MentalHealth.gov:
Emergency Services: If your life (or someone else’s life) is in danger, always start by dialing 911 to gain immediate access to emergency services.
Suicide Prevention: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 800-273-8255. You can also initiate a private live online chat.
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and press “1” to talk to someone immediately. You can also access help with a private online chat or text 838255. Treatment is available for veterans in Tennessee who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 28 substance abuse treatment facilities in Tennessee – representing 12.9% of all treatment facilities
Here are two ways to find a provider of mental health treatment in Tennessee:
Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO): TAMHO provides a map that displays the locations of statewide Community Mental Health Centers and other nonprofit providers of behavioral health services. Part of Tennessee’s Medicaid network, these organizations also often accept private health insurance and direct payment or provide services free of charge for individuals who cannot otherwise afford treatment.
Crisis Walk-In Centers: Crisis Walk-in Centers across the state are available to Tennessee residents who desire an in-person mental health assessment or a referral to local mental health services. A list of these centers can be located on the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services website.
Individuals who have both substance use and mental health disorders may benefit from dual-diagnosis rehab facilities. Use the appropriate filter in our tool above to find rehabilitation centers with treatment programs designed to meet the unique challenge posed by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Substance abuse aftercare treatment is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most crucial steps in the rehabilitation process. The chances of relapsing after rehab dramatically rise for individuals who try to resume their lives without pursuing further treatment in an aftercare setting. Several different types of aftercare are available for recovering addicts, including follow-up visits for continued therapy, group therapy, and sober living homes. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.
12-Step Addiction Meetings in Tennessee
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) designed the 12-step process for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, and today there are many other 12-step programs for other addictions and issues – Narcotics Anonymous (NA) being just one example.
Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you
The tool below lists the contact information for local organizations that will connect you to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings near you. Since meeting times and locations change periodically, contact the local groups that coordinate the meetings to ensure that the information is up to date.
Sober living homes (also referred to as recovery residences) are group homes that help recovering addicts transition from treatment facilities to living independently while maintaining their sobriety. These homes can be especially beneficial for individuals who don’t have a supportive and positive environment in which to live after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
Residents of sober living homes can stay from a few months to several years, as long as they follow house rules and avoid relapse, as these homes typically have a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Additionally, residents are expected to complete chores, attend mutual support groups, and pay an equal share of the cost of renting the home.
Some sober living homes are listed in our database, and you can find them by using the appropriate filter in our tool above. You can also check out our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them and to find a certified recovery residence near you.
The following table illustrates the annual estimates of substance abuse among residents of Tennessee between 2016 and 2017, in addition to the percentage of the Tennessee population and the U.S. population that those estimates represent.
Annual Estimates for Substance Abuse in Tennessee, 2016-2017
* ‘Alcohol’ refers to an Alcohol Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use alcohol, but rather those who have an AUD, defined as meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence.
* ‘Prescription opioid’ refers to a Pain Reliever Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use or even occasionally misuse a prescription opioid, but rather those who have a PRUD, defined as meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence.
of Tennessee deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of U.S. deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The following table shows the number of deaths involving drugs and alcohol in Tennessee between 2008 and 2017. The corresponding graph illustrates the percentage of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in Tennessee compared to the national average.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Tennessee, 2008-2017
When trying to understand substance abuse issues in a specific area, researchers and policymakers examine “key indicators.” Combined with usage statistics, key indicators can provide a deep level of insight into which substances present the most serious concerns and which demographics can be most impacted by substance abuse. Key indicators of substance abuse issues within the state of Tennessee, along with recent, credible statistics, are examined below.
Nearly one million Tennesseans suffer from mental illness each year
As discussed earlier in this guide, there is a strong link between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. When an individual is afflicted with both of these issues at the same time, health professionals refer to it as co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders or a “dual diagnosis.” Consequently, the prevalence of mental health issues in a given state can also help us to understand the level of substance abuse.
of Tennessee adults had a serious mental illness
of Tennessee adolescents had a major depressive episode
Between 2013 and 2017, 5% of Tennessee adults were afflicted with a serious mental illness, compared to 4.2% nationally. Among Tennessee adolescents, 10.4% of individuals aged 12-17 suffered a major depressive episode in the past year, compared to a national average of 12.1%.
The table below sheds some light on the prevalence of mental health issues in Tennessee.
Mental Health Issues in Tennessee by Age and Percentage of Population, 2016-2017
Suicide rates in Tennessee are higher than the national average
The Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States. The suicide rate has risen in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, with that rate increasing by more than 30% in half of all 50 states since 1999. Suicide is an act that is often linked to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse is a primary risk factor for both adults and adolescents who attempt and/or complete suicide, and this is particularly true for at-risk populations.
Furthermore, the relationship between substance abuse and suicide is multi-faceted and complex. Persons who have substance abuse issues typically also carry other risk factors for suicide, including depression, impulsive behavior, and other struggles with relationships, finances, illness, or unemployment that make them more likely to engage in self-harm. Between 1999 and 2016, Tennessee witnessed a 24.2% increase in the number of suicides. In 2017, Tennessee ranked 23rd in the country for the number of suicides per 100,000 residents.
Suicides and Suicide Rates in Tennessee and the United States, 2017
Tennessee has an opioid prescribing rate significantly above the overall U.S. rate
Prescription drug abuse – particularly in the form of opioids – has become an epidemic in the United States. While it is difficult to estimate how many individuals use these drugs as prescribed and how many abuse them, the Centers for Disease Control has researched the variation in opioid prescriptions between states, establishing a direct connection between an increased level of opioid prescriptions with a greater potential for dependence and abuse. Across the United States in 2017, 191 million prescriptions for opioids were written by physicians, ultimately leading one in four patients who begins long-term opioid therapy to an addiction.
opioid prescriptions per 100 Tennessee residents, 2017
opioid prescriptions per 100 U.S. residents, 2017
After peaking in 2012, the U.S. opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline for the last several years due to the explosion of the opioid epidemic and the recognition of the role that excessive opioid prescriptions have played in this epidemic. Between 2013 and 2017, the opioid prescribing rate in the United States dropped from 78.1 prescriptions per 100 residents to 58.7 prescriptions per 100 residents, a decrease of 24.84%. The opioid prescribing rate in Tennessee was consistently above the U.S. prescribing rate during that time period, from 127.1 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2013 to 94.4 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2017, revealing a slightly higher decrease of 25.73%.
Tennessee and U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rates, 2013-2017
The rate of homelessness in Tennessee is well below the national average
A high rate of homelessness in an area indicates a greater potential for substance abuse issues. Homelessness has been shown to be linked to substance abuse as both a cause and a result; some individuals become homeless due to a substance use disorder, while other individuals who are already homeless frequently turn to substance use to dull the pain and desperation of their situation.
The 2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-in-Time Count reported approximately 552,830 homeless individuals in the United States, the equivalent of 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents. This number represents a decrease of 4.1% since 2014 when the number of homeless persons in the U.S. was around 576,450. Furthermore, homelessness across the United States has decreased by 15% since 2007, the year that HUD began collecting data on the homeless population.
of every 10,000 Tennessee residents were homeless, 2018
of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless, 2018
By comparison, Tennessee had approximately 7,883 homeless persons in 2018, equating to 12 of every 10,000 Tennessee residents, which was significantly below the national average. This number reveals a 16.27% decrease since 2014 when 9,415 homeless persons lived in Tennessee.
V. Regional Substance Abuse Statistics & Rehabs
The following sections provide a deeper look at the substance abuse problem in Tennessee by examining the drug- and alcohol-related death rates in the three most populous cities. Additionally, the three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in each city are listed.
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Nashville are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance based on our core metrics.
Drug- and alcohol-induced deaths in Nashville are higher than the state average
of Nashville deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Tennessee deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 6,883 deaths induced by drugs and alcohol in Davidson County, in which the capital of Nashville is located. This number equated to 11.89% of the total deaths among all ages in the county and was higher than the state average of 10.67% during the same time period. Among the three most populous cities in Tennessee, Nashville had both the highest raw number of deaths and the highest drug- and alcohol-induced death rate.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Davidson County, 2008-2017
Deaths due to drugs and alcohol in Memphis are significantly below the average for Tennessee
of Memphis deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Tennessee deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Memphis is located in Shelby County, which experienced 6,781 deaths due to drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017, equating to a drug- and alcohol-induced death rate of 7.99%. This percentage was below the state average of 10.67% in the same time frame by more than two-and-a-half percentage points. Of Tennessee’s three most populous cities, Memphis had the lowest death rate, falling below Knoxville’s second-lowest death rate of 11.64% by more than three-and-a-half percentage points.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Shelby County, 2008-2017
Knoxville’s rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths are marginally above the state average
of Knoxville deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Tennessee deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Knox County, in which Knoxville is located, reported 5,449 deaths due to drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017, representing 11.64% of the total number of deaths in the county and marginally above the average for Tennessee of 10.67% during the same time period. Among Tennessee’s three most populous cities, Knoxville’s rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths fell in the middle, although it was only a quarter of a percentage point below Nashville’s death rate.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Knox County, 2008-2017
Substance abuse treatment is available in Tennessee for anyone who needs help beating an addiction – you don’t have to struggle alone. To receive assistance, start by determining your insurance coverage and by contacting your referral service. You can also use our tool earlier in this guide to locate a treatment center near you. Remember, many low-cost rehabilitation centers can help if you don’t have insurance coverage or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.