MPHD: More drug overdose deaths in 2020 than in all of 2019

Tennessee's Overdose Crisis

FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of prescription oxycodone pills in New York. U.S. health officials are again warning doctors against abandoning chronic pain patients by abruptly stopping their opioid prescriptions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services instead urged doctors Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, to share such decisions with patients. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Startling statistics came from Metro Public Health Department on Friday that showed more people have died from a drug overdose in Nashville-Davidson County so far in 2020 than in all of the year 2019.

According to MPHD, 2019 had been the worst year on record for deadly overdoses up until this year with 468 people dying of a drug overdose.

So far between January and September, MPHD is reporting 471 deadly drug overdoses, a 39% increase compared to the first nine months of 2019. Among those deadly overdoses, more than 80 percent of toxicology reports have detected Fentanyl which attributed to the increase in overdose deaths.

Non-fatal drug overdose ER visits increased by 31% compared to the same time last year, mostly contributed to opioid overdoses. Compared to 2019, suspected drug overdoses increased by 42% during this same time period.

Read the full detailed report below. App Users, click here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the Tennessee REDLINE is a FREE service that provides accurate, up-to-date addiction information and referrals to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-800-889-9789 toll-free or visit the Tennessee REDLINE website here.

To learn more about how you can help in the prevention of drug overdoses, visit the Nashville Prevention Partnership website here.


Tennessee’s overdose crisis is evolving in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. First responders and emergency rooms are reporting an increase in overdose cases. News 2 examines the disturbing trend in a special investigation. Read the latest reports here.        

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