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The so-called “war on drugs” was declared 47 years ago by President Richard Nixon, and there is still no end in sight. Last year, the federal government spent $27.5 billion in the ongoing battle with announcements from the president and attorney general that stiffer sentences are needed for drug violations – even including the death penalty in certain circumstances.

Many observers wonder if all the talk and money will have any more of an effect than all the talk and money expended over the past decades. A recent report takes a look at the severity of the drug problem in Tennessee and the other 49 states.

The Wallethub.com study looks at three main areas: law enforcement; drug use and addiction; and drug health issues and rehab. The research shows that Tennessee is somewhere in the middle of the pack when taking into account all 20 metrics used.

One significant problem area is the ranking of states with the most opioid prescriptions per 100 people. Experts agree that opioid prescriptions are often an entry point to substance abuse that can result in arrests for drug possession, manufacturing and distribution, as well as related problems such as criminal charges for theft, robbery, shoplifting, ID theft, etc.

Tennessee ranks third in the nation for opioid prescriptions per 100 residents, trailing only Alabama at the top, and Arkansas.

Overall, we rank 14th in the nation, meaning only 13 states have worse drug problems than we have here.

If you have been arrested on a drug offense charge, speak with a criminal defense attorney dedicated to helping protect your rights and freedom.