NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Recently released data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows methamphetamine eclipsed marijuana as the most-submitted drug in the state for the first time since crime laboratories began keeping detailed statistics.
TBI’s crime laboratories in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville analyzed 12,072 methamphetamine submissions versus 9,795 submissions of marijuana in 2019, according to a press release.
The release states that this data also comes at a time when the state has seen a "sharp decline" in the number of meth labs over the past decade. The TBI believes the shift indicates an influx in imported methamphetamine.
“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,” TBI Director David Rausch said in the written statement. “Drug abusers often flow from depressants to stimulants and back again. As more people struggle with opioid addiction many of them will – with time – seek out stimulants like methamphetamine. Unfortunately, those who run drug operations, often based outside the United States, know there’s an increased demand here. Alongside our local, state, and federal partners, we’ll keep doing what we can to dismantle these operations, but we’d also urge anyone struggling with drug problems to get help before addiction costs you your life.”
Both state agencies encourage those struggling with substance abuse issues to take advantage of free and confidential resources available through the Tennessee REDLINE. More information can be found online or by calling or texting 1-800-889-9789.