Knoxville Woman Arrested for Furnishing House Where Overdose Occurred

A Knoxville woman remained in jail Friday on charges stemming from a possible overdose death that occurred at her home in November, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Caroline Addinall-Wall, 52, was arrested Thursday on charges of maintaining a dwelling for drug use and unlawful drug paraphernalia use and activities, and is being held in a Knox County jail on bonds of $10,000 and $500. Authorities were called to Addinall-Wall's home at 7631 Chatham Circle on Nov. 11 for a report that a guest at the home had died of a possible overdose, according to a warrant by Knoxville Police Department Officer Philip Jinks. Addinall-Wall was home at the time and allowed officers inside to condu

2016 in Review: ET's Unrelenting Opioid Scourge

The numbers are unrelenting. East Tennessee's opioid scourge, which has been rising steadily in recent years, continued unabated in 2016. In Knox County, the year saw more than 220 people die of suspected drug overdoses, many attributed to opioids. That's thought to be the highest known number of such fatal overdoses recorded in the county. "The opioid and heroin addiction issue is an epidemic here and we need help to get it under control," says Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch. Statewide, the state saw a record number of overdose deaths in 2015, the most year for which numbers are available for Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 1,451 people died from drug overdo

Donation Helps Anti-Drug Coalition Save Lives

The Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition and the Prescription Drug Task Force had a September event to raise funds to provide Naloxone, an overdose antagonist drug, to all first responders in Roane County. As a direct result of the community support received for the Celebrate Hope Benefit, the Anti-Drug Coalition has received a donation of Evzio naloxone auto-injectors from kaléo, a Richmond, Va.-based pharmaceutical company. In July 2014, Tennessee became the 18th state to pass and support a “Good Samaritan” civil immunity law centered on naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The legislation went into effect on July 1, 2014, and has four key components:

Tenn. Legislators Talk Tax Cuts in Light of $2B Cash Surplus

NASHVILLE – Based on State Funding Board projections, the Tennessee General Assembly will have close to $2 billion in extra money to distribute during the upcoming legislative session above current year spending, prompting legislator talk of tax cuts as Gov. Bill Haslam seeks a tax increase. The Funding Board projections, adopted unanimously on Nov. 29, foresee up to $878 million in new, recurring money available for spending on an annual basis starting in the 2016-17 state fiscal year that begins June 30. Economists involved in analyzing the data suggest the figure might be conservative – as the estimates have been in recent past years. That is an unprecedented figure for new recurring mone

Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition Receives Donation to Save Lives

Roane County, TN – (December, 2016) The Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition and the Prescription Drug Task Force held an event in September to raise funds to provide Naloxone, an overdose antagonist drug, to all first responders in Roane County. As a direct result of the community support received for the Celebrate Hope Benefit, the Anti-Drug Coalition has received a donation of EVZIO® naloxone auto-injectors from kaléo, the Richmond, Virginia-based pharmaceutical company. In July 2014, Tennessee became the 18th state to pass and support a "Good Samaritan" civil immunity law centered on the lifesaving medicine Naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of an opioid ove

Drug-Related Overdose Deaths Increase in Knox County

KNOXVILLE - The number of overdose deaths for Knox County in 2016 is expected to be the largest ever, according to the Knox County District Attorney General's Office. The DA's office works closely with the county medical examiner to track the number of overdose deaths. In 2015, the number of confirmed drug-related overdose deaths totaled 170. So far this year, the DA's office suspects 222 people have died from a drug overdose. Kyle Hixson, the deputy district attorney general, said seeing that number increase over the months is alarming. "What's scary, we are using Naloxone. We are using more intensive treatment options. We'll be talking about medication-assisted treatment a lot more in 2017

52 Weeks, 52 Faces

The faces above and the stories below are a snapshot of the devastating opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States. Publicly acknowledging that a family member suffered from an addiction to drugs, or died of an overdose, has long been a taboo subject — one best kept secret among family and a few knowing friends. That is changing. As the death toll from the opioid crisis mounts, families are increasingly weaving desperate warnings into the obituaries of loved ones about the horror that can result when people abuse painkillers, heroin, and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl. Many words of remembrance have been transformed into pleas for help — directed at lawmakers, families suffering sim

Retired Nurse Couldn’t Save Own Daughter from Opioids

TULLAHOMA — Her daughter had nine broken ribs and had a blood clot that required surgery to remove it. So, when Judy Jenkins called about her upcoming visit, the two women made plans to take it easy, go out to eat and visit a spa to get their nails done. Before they said goodbye, Jenkins also reminded her daughter to heed the instructions on the bottles of pain pills and take only the prescribed amounts. The next day, Jenkins — a single mom and nurse who retired to Tennessee — drove 10 hours from Tullahoma and arrived at her daughter’s house in Virginia. She tried the door, but no one answered. Maybe her daughter had been called into work or was with her boyfriend and had lost track of time,

Medical Marijuana Bill would Allow Grow Operations, Dispensaries in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s a new push to make medical marijuana legal in Tennessee with two state lawmakers saying they’ll introduce a proposal this legislative session. The proposal would allow 50 areas to grow cannabis with the Department of Agriculture in charge of licensing those farms. Economically distressed counties would be given first pick with 150 dispensaries throughout the state. Only people with pre-approved conditions would be allowed to use the marijuana. Those conditions include cancer, HIV, PTSD, and Parkinson’s disease. On Wednesday, several doctors, veterans, and professors announced their support for the bill. News 2 also spoke with a mother whose 2-year-old daught

Cordova Mom Fundraising for Billboards to Combat Drug Overdoses

This Christmas a Cordova mom is asking for the community's help to combat the heroin epidemic. Becky Farruggia began a campaign to raise money for billboards to share a message about drug overdoses. According to the U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton's office, so far in 2016 the Memphis Police Department has investigated 91 deadly heroin overdose cases and 288 heroin overdose cases where the person survived. Blake Renfrow, a father to 3 girls, was 28 years old when he died from a heroin overdose. "He was the most loving, sweet kid. he had a smile that would light up the room," said Debra Easter, Renfrow's mother, "August 21st. He OD-ed and was found in our garage by my husband." Easter said Blake

Republican Legislators Detail Tennessee's Medical Marijuana Bill

Flanked by retired police officers, children, veterans and musicians, two Tennessee Republican lawmakers ceremoniously introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow the use of medical marijuana for patients, but insist it is not pushing the state closer to allowing recreational pot use. Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, are leading the most concerted effort to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee, and encouraged anyone who already supports medical use to "educate" others who might not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Though being sponsored by Republicans in the Republican-dominated legislature, the measure is expected to meet some resista

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© 2016 by Tennessee Overdose Prevention.

If they're still alive, there's hope.