Substance abuse treatment is not a one size fits all. Tailoring the addiction treatment program to your unique background, values, experiences, and triggers plays a vital role in ensuring successful recovery. The best alcohol and drug rehab programs in Tennessee recognize this and practice cultural competency during drug and alcohol rehabilitation. This is of great importance and ensures that the care you receive is not only effective but also respectful to your cultural identity and individual needs.
The National Drug Helpline is a toll-free number 1-844-289-0879 that operates 24/7, including holidays and weekends. We can help you find culturally competent addiction treatment programs in Tennessee. Our goal is to give you immediate access to up-to-date information about addiction treatment. All calls to the helpline are completely confidential and are answered by trained professionals. Call us and find local resources that will help you build a happier, healthier, substance-free future.
Find drug and alcohol treatment facilities in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Clarksville, and other communities in Tennessee.
TENNESSEE SUBSTANCE ABUSE RESOURCES
- Tennessee Department of Mental Health –Substance Abuse Services
- Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings in Tennessee
- Tennessee SMART Initiative
- Tennessee Current Drug Trends
- Tennessee DUI Laws
SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY YOUTH IN TENNESSEE
The Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021 showed the following findings among 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the state: 
- Percentage of students who had their first alcoholic drink before age 13 years: 14.1%
- Percentage of students who currently drank alcohol: 22.3%
- Percentage of students who were currently engaged in binge drinking on at least 1 day in the past 30 days: 13.4%
- Percentage of students who go the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them: 36.1%
- Percentage of students who ever used marijuana: 26.8%
- Percentage of students who tried marijuana for the first time before age 13 years: 4.9%
- Percentage of students who used currently used marijuana in the past 30 days: 14.6%
- Percentage of students who ever used synthetic marijuana (spice, K2, black mamba, fake weed): 6.9%
PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATION MISUSE
- Percentage of students who ever took prescription pain medications such as codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet without a doctor’s prescription or differently than prescribed: 13.5%
EXPOSURE TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
- Percentage of students who ever used cocaine: 3.1%
- Percentage of students who ever used inhalants (glue, aerosol cans, paints, sprays): 8.5%
- Percentage of students who ever used heroin (smack, junk, China White): 1.8%
- Percentage of students who ever used methamphetamines (speed, crystal meth, ice, crank): 2.1%
- Percentage of students who ever used ecstasy: 4.3%
- Percentage of students who ever injected an illegal drug: 1.8%
- Percentage of students who were ever offered, given, or sold an illegal drug on school property: 23.4%
SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN TENNESSEE
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports the following with regards to substance use in Tennessee: 
YOUTH AGED 12-17 YEARS
- Past-month marijuana use was reported by 5.1% of adolescents in 2017-2019 compared to 5.0% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average decreased from 7.9% in 2002-2004 to 6.8% in 2017-2019.
- Past-month alcohol use was reported by 9.1% of youth in 2017-2019 compared to 12.6% in 2002-2004. The US national average also showed a downward trend from 17.6% in 2002-2004 to 9.4% in 2017-2019.
- Past-month illicit drug use was reported by 6.4% of Tennessee teens aged 12-17 years in 2017-2019 compared to 6.8% in 2015-2017. The US national average was stable at 8.2% during this time.
- Past-year initiation of substances (first lifetime use) was reported by youth as follows during 2017-2019: Alcohol 9.9% (US average 9.3%), marijuana 4.6% (US average 5.2%), and cigarettes 3.1% (US average 2.3%).
Marijuana use has remained stable while alcohol and illicit drug use among adolescents in Tennessee have shown positive trends with decreased usage in 2019 compared to 2002.
YOUNG ADULTS AGED 18-25 YEARS
The data for young adults aged 18-25 years in Tennessee is as follows:
- Past-year tobacco use was reported by 45.1% of young adults in 2017-2019 compared to 52.9% in 2002-2004. The US national average fell from 54.3% in 2002-2004 to 37.2% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year marijuana use was reported by 30.1% of young adults in Tennessee in 2017-2019 compared to 21.2% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average increased from 28.7% in 2002-2004 to 35.0% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year marijuana use disorder was reported in 3.3% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Tennessee in 2017-2019, compared to 5.8% in 2002-2004. The US national average changed from 6.0% in 2002-2004 to 5.6% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year opioid use disorder was reported in 1.9% of young adults in Tennessee in 2017-2019 compared to 2.1% in 2015-2017. The US national average changed from 1.3% in 2015-2017 to 1.0% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year illicit drug use disorder was reported in 5.9% of Tennessee residents aged 18-25 years in 2017-2019 compared to 7.6% in 2015-2017. The US national average was around 7.2% to 7.5% during this time period.
- Past-month binge alcohol use was reported by 26.2% of young adults in 2017-2019 which was the same as 2015-2017. The US national average in 2017-2019 was 35.4% showing binge alcohol use in Tennessee is lower compared to the country as a whole.
- Past-year alcohol use disorder among young adults aged 18-25 was reported in 8.8% of Tennessee residents in 2017-2019, compared to 14.3% in 2002-2004. The US national average for 2017-2019 was 9.8%. Tennessee therefore has a slightly lower percentage of young adults battling alcohol use disorder compared to the US average for all states.
- Past-year substance use disorder was reported in 13.1% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Tennessee in 2017-2019 compared to 13.7% in 2015-2017. The national average has hovered between 15.1% and 14.7% during this time.
TENNESSEE RESIDENTS 12 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER
The Behavioral Health Barometer also found the following for 2017-2019 in Tennessee residents aged 12 years and older:
- Past-year tobacco use: 31.9% (US average 26.8%)
- Past-year marijuana use: 13.3% (US average 16.2%)
- Past-year marijuana use disorder: 1.1% (US average 1.6%)
- Past-year heroin use: 0.34% (US average 0.30%)
- Past-year prescription painkiller misuse: 3.4% (US average 3.7%)
- Past-year opioid use disorder: 0.9% (US average 0.7%)
- Past-year illicit drug use disorder: 2.8% (US average 2.9%)
- Past-year alcohol use disorder: 4.3% (US average 5.3%)
- Past-year substance use disorder: 6.5% (US average 7.4%)
- Number of people enrolled in substance use treatment (single day counts for 2019): 28,899
- Number of people enrolled in opioid treatment programs (single day counts for 2019): 5,566
- Problems among people enrolled in treatment: 61.8% drug problem only, 10.2% alcohol problem only, 28.0% both drug and alcohol problems
WHAT IS A CULTURALLY COMPETENT ADDICTION TREATMENT PROGRAM?
A culturally competent addiction treatment program is designed to be inclusive and respectful of your cultural identity. Here’s how it can help you in your journey to a sober life. 
Cultural competency starts with an understanding that diversity exists among individuals seeking addiction treatment. The best drug and alcohol rehab programs in Tennessee acknowledge that no two people are the same. They understand that your cultural background shapes your beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes towards addiction and recovery.
When you enter a treatment program that respects and understands your cultural background, you are more likely to feel respected, valued, and understood. This helps to build trust between you and your treatment providers, which is crucial for a successful recovery.
Tailoring Treatment Plans
Culturally sensitive addiction treatment means that your care plan will be tailored to your unique needs. It will account for cultural factors that could influence relapse to substance abuse, such as family dynamics, social norms, or trauma related to your cultural background. Ultimately, this approach increases your chances of long-term success in staying clean.
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful substance abuse treatment program. A good rehab program ensures that treatment materials and therapists are available in your preferred language. This helps bridge any potential language barriers and ensures you understand the information you are given and can make informed decisions about your recovery.
Cultural competency also involves reducing the stigma associated with addiction within different communities. It encourages open conversations about addiction and mental health with your loved ones, making it easier for you to seek help without fear of judgment.
Inclusivity in Support Groups
Support groups are a vital part of your recovery from substance use. Culturally competent programs in Tennessee connect you to support groups that are inclusive and reflective of the diverse backgrounds of the participants. These support groups provide a safe space for you to connect with others who come from a similar cultural background and have shared experiences.
Cultural Traditions and Healing Practices
Culturally sensitive rehab programs in Tennessee recognize and respect cultural traditions and include healing practices that can be essential to your recovery. For example, a treatment program that emphasizes indigenous traditions, spirituality, and origin stories. Integrating traditional practices into your treatment plan, when appropriate, can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity that supports the healing process.
Empathy and Sensitivity
A big factor in culturally competent addiction treatment is providing care with empathy and sensitivity. Providers who are culturally aware will seek to understand your experiences and perspectives as well as the challenges arising from your cultural background. This fosters a supportive and non-judgmental environment for your recovery.
Collaboration with Communities
Culturally competent drug and alcohol treatment programs in Tennessee collaborate with local communities and cultural organizations. This ensures access to resources and support networks that understand your cultural context.
Cultural competence is an ongoing process. The best addiction treatment professionals in Tennessee engage in continuous learning and self-reflection to improve their understanding of diverse cultures and how they intersect with addiction treatment.
Finding a culturally sensitive addiction treatment program in Tennessee can be challenging. The National Drug Helpline on 1-844-289-0879 can help you find such a program that recognizes and respects your individuality and cultural background. The goal is to help you overcome the unique challenges and barriers you face and tailor the treatment to your needs and culture to ensure lasting sobriety.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021. Available online. Accessed on September 9, 2023.
- SAMHSA. Behavioral Health Barometer Tennessee. Available online. Accessed on September 9, 2023.
- National Library of Medicine. Cultural Competence in Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment. Available online. Accessed on September 9, 2023.
Last updated: September 8, 2023