Attack Both Supply, Demand in Opioid Fight

East Tennesseans continue to die from drug overdoses at an alarming rate. As of last Wednesday, there have been 17 prospective overdose deaths in Knox County so far in 2017. According Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen, there were 237 prospective overdose deaths in 2016, a number that, if confirmed, would be a sizeable increase over the 170 overdose deaths in 2015. The rapidly rising overdose death rate has prompted authorities to form a special task force targeting the drug dealers responsible. The Overdose Death Investigation Task Force consists of Knoxville Police Department, the Knox County Attorney General’s Office, the Knox County Medical Examiner's Office, the Sheriff'

Repealing The ACA Could Worsen the Opioid Epidemic

As our country grapples with an “unprecedented opioid epidemic,” Congress is taking steps to take away an important tool to fight it — the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The annual cost of the epidemic is estimated to be $78.5 billion. In 2014, there were more deaths from opioid and other drug overdose than any other year; 60.9 percent of those overdoses involved an opioid. Every day, an average of 78 Americans die from opioid abuse. The coverage expansions and protections under the ACA can help lessen the epidemic and save lives. The ACA Provides Coverage To People With Substance Use Disorders Because of the ACA, an estimated 26 million people have health coverage through the marketplaces or Me

Long-Acting Contraception Now Offered at 41 Tennessee Jails

More than 90 percent of the women in Tennessee county jails are serving time because of drugs, according to Tennessee's drug recovery court. "Our rural counties have been disproportionately affected by the opioid problem," said Dr. Tara Sturdivant, Director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office. The office provides health services to the 15 rural counties around Knox County. One of the outcomes of the opioid epidemic in Tennessee has been the nearly 1,000 babies born every year with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) since 2013, when the health department began documenting the epidemic. The babies are born dependent on the drugs their mothers used during pregnancy and are forced to go

Schools Reach Beyond ‘Just Say No’ on Opioid Dangers

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Schools are going beyond “Just Say No” as they teach students as young as kindergartners about the dangers of opioids in the hope that they don’t later become part of the growing crisis. Some states have begun requiring instruction about prescription drugs and heroin, and districts are updating their anti-drug teachings to move toward interactive and engaging science-based lessons they hope will save lives. States including Ohio and New York have passed laws requiring that schools include opioid abuse prevention in health education, and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged to do the same this month. “The message will be simple and direct and start in kinderg

Speaker Beth Harwell Creates Task Force on Opioid Abuse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) announced Friday that she has created a task force on opioid and prescription drug abuse. The main goal of the task force is to work on legislation, but the members will also seek to determine the best strategies for tackling the opioid epidemic. “I have asked the members of the task force to work toward legislation that can be filed this year, as well as working collaboratively with other members who have legislation on the topic. Working together, I am hoping we can create some comprehensive solutions to this epidemic,” said Speaker Harwell. She appointed the following members to the task force: Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson

A Second Shot: Reducing Opioid Overdoses through Community Naloxone Initiatives

With opioid abuse and misuse continuing to spiral out of control, approximately 44 people die daily from a prescription painkiller overdose in the U.S., and drug overdose is now the No. 1 cause of accidental deaths, surpassing car crashes. Naloxone (Narcan)– an antidote to reverse an opioid overdose – is one of several important tools that communities must arm themselves with to prevent and reduce overdose deaths. The Blount County Substance Abuse Prevention Action Team (SAPAT) began working with local law enforcement, fire departments and school systems in 2015 on the first coalition-led Naloxone initiative in Tennessee, and the team is already seeing outstanding results. In this training,

Task Force to Address Overdose Issues in Knoxville

A newly formed task force will be taking on opioid and drug issues in Knoxville and the surrounding area. The group's focus will be to investigate overdose incidents, especially those that lead to deaths, according to the task force announcement. The investigators will work to determine who, if anyone, can be held accountable for providing substances that caused death. The Knoxville Police Department is the lead agency and will be joined by the Knox County District Attorney General's Office, the Knox County Medical Examiner, Knox County Sheriff's Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, as well as Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). "We're looking at starting some

In Wake of Rising Overdose Deaths, Knox Authorities Launch Task Force

As the rate of overdose deaths continues to skyrocket across the state, the Knoxville Police Department announced Wednesday the formation of a special task force to target the drug dealers responsible. There have been 17 prospective overdose deaths in Knox County so far in 2017, and there were 237 prospective overdose deaths in 2016, according Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen. If confirmed, 2016's figure will mark a sizable increase from 2015's number of 170 deaths. From 2010-2015, drug-related deaths in Knox and Anderson counties doubled, according to a report from The Knox County Regional Forensic Center. "There's no part of the country that can match our agony in this,"

Groups Work to Combat Drug Overdose Epidemic in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Drug overdoses continue to rise across East Tennessee. First responders have to use the overdose reversal drug Naloxone more and more often. The Knoxville Fire Department had to use Naloxone six times in January 2016. Compare that to this month, they’ve saved the lives of 26 people who have overdosed. The Knoxville Police Department says they’ve responded to 86 overdose calls this month alone. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has already had 42 overdose reports this month. Tennessee Highway Patrol says drugged driving now causes more traffic deaths than drunk driving. Andrew Watson knows all too well the struggle of addiction. It started in college. He was playing soccer w

Long-Acting Contraception Now Offered at 41 Tennessee Jails

More than 90 percent of the women in Tennessee county jails are serving time because of drugs, according to Tennessee's drug recovery court. "Our rural counties have been disproportionately affected by the opioid problem," said Dr. Tara Sturdivant, Director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office. The office provides health services to the 15 rural counties around Knox County. One of the outcomes of the opioid epidemic in Tennessee has been the nearly 1,000 babies born every year with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) since 2013, when the health department began documenting the epidemic. The babies are born dependent on the drugs their mothers used during pregnancy and are forced to go

Knoxville Police Save Driver, Passenger with Overdose Antidote after Crash

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville police officers were able to rescue a driver and passenger with a lifesaving dose of Naloxone after a drug overdose led to a crash in West Knoxville on Thursday. The Knoxville Police Department says they were called to a two vehicle crash on Lovell Road. A vehicle had rolled into the vehicle in front of them, which had stopped for a red light. When officers arrived, they found the driver and passenger in the vehicle that caused the crash were both unresponsive due to an overdose. Officers quickly administered Naloxone to both people. They were both alert and talking before they were taken to the hospital. Drug paraphernalia and evidence of drug use were found in

Changing the Language of Addiction

Substance use disorder is a chronic brain disorder from which people can and do recover. Through the Affordable Care Act and other actions, this Administration has taken significant steps to help millions of people receive quality care, sustain recovery, and live healthy and productive lives. However, persistent stigma still creates barriers to treatment and recovery. To help address this, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy prepared a document for Federal agencies about terminology related to substance use and substance use disorders. The document was developed in consultation with external research, policy, provider, and consumer stakeholders and in collaboration with Fe

Maryville Pill-Mill Nurse Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison

If Jamie Chiles Cordes sold on the street the opiates she put in the hands of addicts, she would have been staring down as many as nine years behind bars Friday. But because she wore a medical coat and used prescriptions to deal drugs, she walked away instead with 54 months. The disparity was not lost on U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves at Friday's sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court for former nurse practitioner Cordes but neither, she said, was the reason behind it. Cordes was a freshly-minted licensed nurse practitioner when she took a job at Breakthrough Pain Therapy Center in Maryville in November 2009. It was good money, and her attorney, David Eldridge, said this married mother

Maryville Pill-Mill Nurse Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison

If Jamie Chiles Cordes sold on the street the opiates she put in the hands of addicts, she would have been staring down as many as nine years behind bars Friday. But because she wore a medical coat and used prescriptions to deal drugs, she walked away instead with 54 months. The disparity was not lost on U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves at Friday's sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court for former nurse practitioner Cordes but neither, she said, was the reason behind it. Cordes was a freshly-minted licensed nurse practitioner when she took a job at Breakthrough Pain Therapy Center in Maryville in November 2009. It was good money, and her attorney, David Eldridge, said this married mother

Kred Clothing Line Stitched in Addiction Awareness

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In downtown Knoxville, directly across the intersection of Bearden and North Broadway sits an unpretentious warehouse. Once inside, however, you learn what's happening is anything but unassuming. "We're just a pretty small business that's trying to make an impact. It's not about how much, but helping out one person at a time," Greg Love said. Love is the co-founder of a clothing line called Kred (pronounced Kreed). Kred is stitched a different way. Every shirt, hat, and hoodie sold (all designed by Love) at kredlife.com benefits addiction awareness and in turn, helps out someone that's in need of help. "There's 21 million addicts in America and growing," Love said.

Sheriff: Jailer, Two Others Charged in Sevier Drug Conspiracy

A Sevier County corrections officer was booked into the jail where he once worked Thursday after being arrested on charges of smuggling drugs into the jail, according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office. After learning of a plan to smuggle narcotics into the Sevier County Jail Annex to deliver to an inmate, deputies searched the possessions of a corrections officer, 24-year-old Joshua Davis, as he was reporting to work, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. The deputies found and confiscated drugs, and arrested Davis on charges including introducing contraband into a penal facility, criminal conspiracy and possession of a Schedule III narcotic for resale, according to the

Sheriff: Jailer, Two Others Charged in Sevier Drug Conspiracy

A Sevier County corrections officer was booked into the jail where he once worked Thursday after being arrested on charges of smuggling drugs into the jail, according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office. After learning of a plan to smuggle narcotics into the Sevier County Jail Annex to deliver to an inmate, deputies searched the possessions of a corrections officer, 24-year-old Joshua Davis, as he was reporting to work, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. The deputies found and confiscated drugs, and arrested Davis on charges including introducing contraband into a penal facility, criminal conspiracy and possession of a Schedule III narcotic for resale, according to the

Tennessee Recovery Court Provides Drug Addicts An Alternative To Jail

In Roane County, Tenn., the legal and personal costs of the opioid epidemic collide at the county courthouse. As an assistant to the local prosecutor, Charlene Hipsher helped launch a special "recovery court" with the goal of getting drug addicts into treatment instead of jail. "Roane County is such a beautiful part of the country, with lush mountains and beautiful rivers," Hipsher says. "But we do have a terrible problem here, and it's opiate addiction." Hipsher says recovery court is "intensive supervision and treatment" that provides addicts an alternative to a jail cell and the opportunity to overcome their addiction. Her colleague Dennis Humphrey, general sessions court judge and recove

Featured Posts
Search By Tags
Recent Posts

Categories

Archive
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© 2016 by Tennessee Overdose Prevention.

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