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Methamphetamine beats out marijuana as Tennessee's most-submitted drug at TBI

The rise in methamphetamine use could be linked to the opioid epidemic, as people turn towards stimulants over depressives, TBI said.

Labs in TBI saw the number of submissions for methamphetamine increase every year, ever since they started keeping detailed statistics. Now, the submissions for methamphetamine beat out the number of submissions for marijuana.

The number of submissions for methamphetamine jumped by more than 2,500 between 2018 and 2019, over the number of submissions for marijuana.

"Drug addiction continues to be a major issue in Tennessee, and I believe this sharp increase in methamphetamine has a connection to our state's ongoing opioid epidemic," David Rausch said in a press release, the TBI director. "Drug abusers often flow from depressants to stimulants and back again."

The submissions for marijuana dropped by almost 1,000 from 2018 to 2019, from 10,652 to 9,795 submissions. Yet, submissions for methamphetamine jumped to 12,072 for 2019 — around 2,300 more than marijuana.

Credit: TBI

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"While our state's addiction crisis continues to evolve, it's important to remember that treatment for substance use disorder is effective, and people do recover," Marie Williams said, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.