For the first time since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime laboratories began keeping detailed statistics, methamphetamine eclipsed marijuana as the most-submitted drug in the state in 2019.
TBI’s crime laboratories in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville received a total of 9,795 submissions of marijuana in 2019, compared to 10,652 in 2018. Historically, the TBI analyzes approximately 10,000 submissions identified as marijuana every year.
Comparatively, methamphetamine has continued to trend significantly upward in recent years, increasing from 3,748 submissions in 2015 to 12,072 in 2019. That has occurred, however, at the same time the state has seen a sharp decline in the number of meth labs over the past decade, indicating an influx in imported methamphetamine.
Both state agencies encourage those struggling with substance abuse issues to take advantage of free and confidential resources available through the Tennessee REDLINE.