The number of overdose related deaths continues to climb across the nation. Tennessee is among the states who offer an antidote injection with a prescription. There is great controversy surrounding this decision to save lives. One side is in favor of making the Narcan shot available while the opposing side demonstrates concerns that this will encourage the opiate abuse epidemic. While both sides have valid points, the fact is there will be opiate overdoses and opiate abusers independent of the availability of the Narcan injection.
It is too early in the process to jump to conclusions of positive or negative outcomes, only time will reveal if making Narcan available can improve the statistics of opiate related deaths. Some data reported by the state of Tennessee last year reveals the number of deaths from opiates were greater than the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. Opiate related deaths are the third leading cause of death in the state of Tennessee only preceded by pneumonia/influenza as runner up to diabetes.
Here is a breakdown of counties across the state and their reported number of opiate related deaths from 2014. Keep in mind that this does not include those deaths that were recorded as respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, or unknown that stem from the opiate use that resulted in each of these.