Substance Abuse Treatment in Nashville, TN

Finding Addiction Treatment in Nashville

Nashville, TN, is a city with rich music history, with some of the most popular country music artists originating in the area. The Grand Ole Opry, the famous Nashville theater that hosted some of the initial acts of some of entertainment’s biggest names, is still in operating condition. Unfortunately, there is also a growing need for quality substance abuse treatment in Nashville.

The city of Nashville has a storied history of various types of substance abuse, starting with the early days of cocaine that go as far back as the late 1800s, leading up to its prohibition in the early 1900s. Like other cities, Nashville is in the middle of a fierce battle with opioids and fentanyl, stemming from the opioid pill crisis that ravaged the area in the early 2000s.

Despite the infamy for cocaine, pills, and now fentanyl, Nashville may be most notable for and entrenched the deepest in marijuana when it comes to narcotics. More specifically, the cultivation of marijuana has always been a noteworthy pastime of many Nashville residents, dating back to the 1700s.


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A Hempire: The History of Hemp and Marijuana Cultivation in Nashville, TN

By the time Tennessee joined the union in 1796, hemp was already a significant cash crop thanks to early pioneer clans who successfully lugged it through the mighty Appalachian mountain chain. This introduction to hemp was imperative during a time when the usage of ships for hauling goods was at its peak.

What does hemp have to do with the construction of giant boats? The incredibly tough fibers that manufacturers out of the plan are perfect for creating lines and sails. The farmers who grew the hemp had the best customer possible in the government and private commercial boat owners.

Eventually, a large-scale farm report published in the 1840s bragged about Tennessee’s prime territory for growing hemp, triggering a massive wave of farmers to begin harvesting. In earlier years, low valley farmland areas were rivers, making the current soil rich and optimal for the type of environment hemp needs.

The Decline of Hemp and the Need for Nashville Drug Rehabs

Nashville Drug Rehabs, concept shown

The following 40 years were a significant economic boom period for the Tennessee farmer, as cultivation of all important crops switched from a means of survival to a business. Hemp remained among one of the most commonly grown products, especially in Eastern Tennessee towns like Nashville, and even stretched into the state’s central area, where cotton farming wasn’t possible.

However, the boom would begin to subside as lumber and paper tycoons like William Randolph Hearst started to ramp up the use of trees instead of hemp. Additionally, the invention of steamships made a significant impact on the sail production business that hemp farmers so heavily leaned upon.

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 placed further strain on the hemp farmer, taking a chunk of their profits that were already dwindling. Hemp’s durability caused a short return to higher production because of goods required during WW2. But by the 1950s, hardly any farmers left cultivating hemp in Nashville or surrounding areas.

Finally, the DEA’s classification of hemp and all cannabis-related products as Schedule 1 drugs placed the final nail in the coffin on the all-but deceased hemp industry in the Tennessee valley. This led to a boom in a different type of cultivation, this time of the cannabis and THC variety.

Nashville Marijuana Addiction and The Pot Farmers of Tennessee

The area surrounding Nashville, TN, has always been infamous for a huge illegal pot farming industry. Since the 1970s, and still to this day, some of the most sought-after marijuana comes from this area.

Marijuana cultivated in the Nashville area is known for its extremely high quality, mostly due to the conditions provided by the unique geography. The mountains surrounding Nashville’s eastern regions give growers the type of environment required to pull off large-scale marijuana-growing operations.

The mountains also provide another element that pot farmers need – stealth. The residents of the hills surrounding Nashville know the layout of the rolling hills better than any cop or DEA agent, giving them the upper hand needed to provide their operation cover and avoid arrest.

New Hemp and Marijuana Laws in Nashville

New legislation and an increasingly liberal stance toward marijuana led to Tennessee developing a flourishing hemp farming industry once again. Provisions in the federal Farm Act allowed American farmers to establish hemp farms once again, mainly to relieve economic hardship and stimulate the economy.

So far, it’s been wildly successful. Not long afterward, Tennessee began taking steps toward moving away from the prohibition of THC also. However, the most recent bill once against struck down the full legalization of marijuana.

Despite the state’s heavy conservative approach to drugs and drug legislation, Nashville has faced a growing problem with opioid abuse. Initially, prescription painkillers left a large amount of damage in their wake, and recently fentanyl leaves the state dealing with an epidemic of epic proportions.

Nashville, TN and the Need for Fentanyl Detox

Nashville is known for its music, culture, and thriving nightlife. However, a thriving social scene often brings substance abuse issues with it.

Just in the Nashville area alone, a staggering 218,000 people over the age of 12 used some illegal substance during the past year. This is according to SAMHSA, a government resource on substance abuse and mental health providing statistics and treatment options.

This number represents over 18% of the entire population of Nashville, making it the state with the highest amount of drug use per capita than any city or county in the state. The number of opioid deaths is even more tragic.

In 2018 opioid deaths hit an all-time high, rounding out at 1307 by the end. Numbers continue to climb, but fentanyl isn’t the only substance Nashville is currently dealing with. Typically music cities with more significant social scenes create a buffet of substance abuse challenges, further complicating an already stressful situation.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Nashville: The Challenges

Nashville faces mounting issues with several types of substance abuse, giving government officials, law enforcement, and medical personnel stretched beyond their limits. This section breaks down substance abuse in Nashville by the numbers.

Finding Alcohol Detox Nashville

Alcohol has always been a significant challenge in Nashville. Almost five percent of the city’s residents report a problem with heavy alcohol abuse.

The fact that the city has many notable bars and a thriving party scene doesn’t make the alcohol challenges in Nashville any easier.


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Opioid and Prescription Drug Treatment in Nashville

One out of every six Nashville residents struggles with opioid abuse or is enrolled in a treatment center. Additionally, 221,000 report using opioids and other prescriptions for a non-medical reason with no prescription.

In Tennessee, 70,000 people are addicted to opioids, clearly outlining the fact that the state is no stranger to opioid abuse. A large part of this is because of the history of heavy-handed physicians when it comes to opioid prescriptions.

Despite stiffer laws on opioids and the doctors that write them freely, 143 prescriptions for pain killers are still written for every 100 residents of the state. Tennessee was at the center of a significant trend of “pill mills,” which are doctor’s offices opened to write opioid prescriptions.

Many of these pill mills were shut down, which only led to the heroin and fentanyl epidemics.

Heroin Detox Nashville

Thanks to heroin, opioids have passed alcohol as the most widely abused drug in Nashville. This is reflected by the 157% increase in enrollment into the many substance abuse treatment centers available in the Nashville area.

However, the bright spot here for individuals traveling to Nashville for substance abuse has many different options for recovery.

AA in Nashville (and Alternatives to the 12-steps for TN Residents)

Substance Abuse Treatment in Nashville

Nashville, TN, places a heavy focus on 12-step recovery programs. Many rehab facilities incorporate several elements of these programs and have experienced some pretty favorable results.

Rehab centers like Discovery Place partner with some of the top mental health providers in the area and combine their programs with versions of the 12-step program that highly engage participants. They claim this creates the highest quality of treatment possible at more affordable rates than traditional rehab programs.

Because of the attention already placed on the 12-step model during the inpatient phase of recovery, participants have a much higher chance of long-term success after treatment.

Are You Moving to Nashville After Treatment?

If you’re thinking about moving to Nashville permanently after treatment, plenty of opportunities exist in the city to achieve employment success and establish a thriving social dynamic. As mentioned earlier, Nashville has a thriving music scene, but the economy is also among the top ranking in the country.

The area is one of the fastest-growing in the United States, and employment opportunities are plentiful. Some of the biggest industries with the most availability for new hires are the medical field, music industries, and the vast hospitality industry.

Some of the best neighborhoods to check out if you’re exiting treatment include:


  • Hillsboro Village is a friendly, walkable neighborhood that’s great for single-family living close to all the amenities you need, including entertainment options.


  • Sylvan Park is another excellent area for people in recovery. Neighbors are extremely friendly with one another, providing a positive atmosphere required to maintain sobriety


Regardless of your options, Nashville is no stranger to substance abuse, which makes the city more prepared to handle addiction challenges. The combination of expert mental health and substance abuse professionals with the 12-step group focus in the treatment centers gives clients a great start and a firm understanding of what’s required to remain sober.

Armed with the right support system, which Nashville has an affinity for providing, this can be an excellent post-treatment city. For more information on rehab and recovery in Nashville, check out Find Addiction Rehab’s comprehensive engine, which provides information relevant to treatment compiled in one area, making comparing and contrasting options more manageable than ever.

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