The Shelby County Commission on Monday decided to add $ 168,700 to its operating budget to help tackle the county’s opioid epidemic.
Shelby County previously received $ 506,000 from the Tennessee Department of Health for the period September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022 to target hard-hit areas across the state. Today’s vote changed the original amount.
Since 2011, opioid overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal, have risen sharply across the country. Shelby County was no exception, and in 2017, more of the county’s residents died from opioid overdoses than from car accidents Shelby County Health Department.
There were 854 opioid emergencies in the county in 2018, and there were 416 overdose-related deaths in 2020, a 22% increase since 2019.
May 2020 had the highest observed number of deaths, mostly among white men and people between the ages of 30 and 59.
While 2020 is the lTest full data available, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 2,625 Suspected drug overdose in Shelby County in 2021.
In 2021, there were 3,032 drug overdoses and more than 5 million prescribed opioid pain relievers nationwide.
Shelby County’s health officials say they want to fight the epidemic through community integration and in conjunction with support to care and health systems. Officials work with several organizations that specialize in breaking down barriers to addiction treatment.