Dyersburg is a city in Tennessee located northeast of Memphis. Nestled next to the Mississippi River, the people of Dyersburg utilized their access to the nation’s largest river to become a steamboat town in the 19th century. In 1836, the then-small town of Dyersburg made a name for themselves when the Grey Eagle completed the first successful steamboat trip. By 1879, Dyersburg entered into (while late in comparison to the rest of the country) it’s own industrial era, when the steamboat known as Alf Stevens began shipping timber from the lumber company in the city to markets in Missouri.
Shortly after that, a large sawmill was developed, along with a planing mill and a wooden bowl factory. As railroads continued to expand and finally reached Dyersburg, even more economic growth became possible. By 1914, Dyersburg was a solidified junction point along the Illinois Central Railroad.
Today, Dyersburg is known as the “Gateway to everywhere”, and according to the state’s official website, it is “a regional retail, medical, employment, and cultural center for more than 300,000 people who live in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.”
It is estimated that as of 2016, approximately 16,685 people were living in Dyersburg. Between 1880 and 1890, Dyersburg experienced its biggest growth in population with nearly a 100% increase over those 10 years. Today, the majority of Dyersburg’s residents are white (75.7%), 22% African American, and 1.36% Hispanic or Latino. Less than 1% of the population is made up of Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Asians, and individuals of two races or more.
Dyersburg and Drugs
Like most other cities and towns across the United States, Dyersburg faces struggles with the presence of both prescription and illicit drugs. According to local news, 18 people were indicted on drug charges that included the selling and distribution of Schedule II and Schedule III prescription drugs, indicating the demand for substances like OxyContin, Percocet, and fentanyl, as well as other prescription medications like ketamine and codeine.
The abuse of opioids, both legal and illegal, is both dangerous and potentially deadly. The abuse of any kind of opioid, including fentanyl, heroin, or OxyContin, causes the user to become slowed in his or her mental and physical function, as well as detached from his or her surroundings and unpredictably moody. When opioids are being continually abused, users can suffer from respiratory problems and vital organ damage, to name a few consequences. Plus, the risk of overdose is always present.
Other news reports from the area highlight a major meth problem in the area, which is in keeping with a trend that is impacting several southern states including Tennessee. Meth, which is easily homemade, is a stimulant substance that contains toxic chemicals like paint thinner and battery fluid. The abuse of this drug can cause severe and irreversible physical and psychological damage, as well as death.
A significant factor in the amount of drug use within Dyersburg is due to high poverty rates. Studies show that those who grow up impoverished or who currently live in poverty are at greater risk for developing a substance use disorder due to their environmental surroundings.
Do You Need Help?
If you are living in Dyersburg or surrounding areas and are struggling with a substance abuse problem, reach out and ask for help right now. You do not need to continue to abuse drugs that ruin your life. Recovery is possible.