Bristol Declares Aug. 31 International Overdose Awareness Day

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Rhonda Coffey lost her son, David, two years ago to a drug overdose. Today would have been his 36th birthday. On July 26, 2015, “the dynamic of my family changed forever,” Coffey said “I lost my firstborn son. My son Chris lost his brother.” After David’s passing, Coffey founded The ADDICTS Family with her son Chris. It’s a nonprofit support group for those who have a family member in active addiction or who have lost a loved one. “I knew I had to be the voice for David that he could not be for himself,” she said. The City of Bristol marked International Overdose Day on Thursday with a program at Tennessee High School. The event, put together in less than a month, was hosted

‘Night of Remembrance’ in Nashville will Honor Victims of Drug Overdoses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Aug. 31, people around the world will gather to remember people who have died from a drug overdose. Events for International Overdose Awareness Day are being held in several different cities, including Nashville. News 2 spoke to two overdose survivors who now share their story to try to prevent others from making the same mistakes. “I came from a good family, sports player growing up,” said Evan Radtke. Radtke is a typical All-American young man, but five years ago, he became a parent’s worst statistic. He suffered from an overdose on Xanax and heroin. “You shoot up and then all of a sudden, my head hit the table, gashed, fell out, and the next thing I knew, I wa

As Overdose Death Toll Rises, Grassroots Group Fights Stigma with Overdose Awareness Event

On Thursday night, as the lights across the Henley Bridge glow purple, some will mourn the loss of a loved one. Some will be grateful for a second chance. And some, Nancy Daniels hopes, will see it as a beacon, will see that they have support to pull them out of the depths of drug addiction. Daniels is founder of Tennessee Overdose Prevention, a grassroots nonprofit organization that will sponsor its second Overdose Awareness Day event 5-9 p.m. Thursday starting at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and proceeding to Volunteer Landing, weather permitting. It’s part of the observance of Aug. 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day. As of last week, Knox County’s 226 overdose deaths alread

‘Night of Remembrance’ in Nashville will Honor Victims of Drug Overdoses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Aug. 31, people around the world will gather to remember people who have died from a drug overdose. Events for International Overdose Awareness Day are being held in several different cities, including Nashville. News 2 spoke to two overdose survivors who now share their story to try to prevent others from making the same mistakes. “I came from a good family, sports player growing up,” said Evan Radtke. Radtke is a typical All-American young man, but five years ago, he became a parent’s worst statistic. He suffered from an overdose on Xanax and heroin. “You shoot up and then all of a sudden, my head hit the table, gashed, fell out, and the next thing I knew, I wa

We All have Role to Play in Ending Opioid Crisis

Opioids -- medications used to treat pain and associated with euphoria -- are responsible for as many as 91 overdose deaths every day in the United States. Today, opioid misuse is a national crisis. In fact, the government declared it an official national emergency earlier this month. Tennessee ranks second in the country in opioid prescriptions per capita, and ninth in drug-related deaths per 100,000 population. About 5 percent of the state’s population is addicted to opioids, which account for more than 70 percent of deaths from drug overdose. Between 2010 and 2015, Shelby County’s overall drug overdose mortality rate increased from 15.1 to 21 per 100,000. In addition to loss of life, othe

Investigation: How Many Lives Are Lost to Opioids? No One Knows.

Click Here to View Video In 2015, state officials reported at least 1,451 men, women and children died from drug overdoses in Tennessee - but that's far from an accurate count. There are likely hundreds more. No one knows the true number. Drug deaths reported in Tennessee are fundamentally flawed and represent an under-count of the toll taken by opioids, the nation’s most deadly drug epidemic, a USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee investigation found.

Sullivan Co. Designated as Member of Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Sullivan County was recognized on Thursday as the newest county in the region to become a member of the Appalachia High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which gives federal resources to members to help eliminate or reduce drug trafficking. According to a federal news release, the Appalachia HIDTA uses a “multi-disciplinary approach to deal with the ongoing threats to public health and safety, particularly as it regards prescription drug diversion, the emerging threat of heroin, as well as the continued threats of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and synthetic drugs.” “Sullivan County’s designation as an Appalachia HIDTA county will allow resources for the crit

Aug. 31 Set for International Overdose Prevention Day Vigil

Around the hallways and treatment rooms out at Cornerstone of Recovery, he’s known as “Bubba.” James Graczyk isn’t as big as he was before gastric bypass surgery in 2016 helped him lose more than 300 pounds, but he carries himself with a sense of grace, humility and spirituality that’s 10 times bigger than he ever was at his heaviest. Sitting down over lunch to discuss the Third Annual International Overdose Awareness Day — scheduled for 5 p.m. Aug. 31 at Volunteer Landing off of Neyland Drive in downtown Knoxville — he endures a barrage of text messages, emails and greetings from Cornerstone clients who sit around us, seemingly drawn into Bubba’s orbit by the sheer magnitude of his own reco

District Attorney: Marijuana Laced with Fentanyl is in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee District Attorney is offering a warning about a new, deadly mix of drugs – marijuana mixed with fentanyl. DA Matthew Stowe told News 2 the drug is here in Tennessee and he can’t warn people fast enough. “It’s absolutely being seen in Tennessee. It’s being seen in West Tennessee, it’s coming in in vast, vast quantities,” he said. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid used in medical settings to treat chronic pain. On the street, it takes just a small amount for someone to overdose within minutes. “It is very easy to move,” Stowe said. “It is very easy to transport and it’s hard to detect.” He continued, “There are some marijuana dealers that will tell t

Tennesseans Fight Back Against the Opioid Epidemic

The United States has seen a staggering increase in rates of opioid addiction in the last 15 years,1 and the results have been tragic. When it comes to the battle against the country’s opioid addiction epidemic, Tennessee is on the front lines. Mapping the Epidemic During that 15-year period, the number of deaths from overdosing on commonly prescribed opioids rose from a little more than 1 to nearly 5 in 100,000 people.2 Yet even as America as a whole is being forced to grapple with the epidemic (a drive down Utah’s main interstate currently yields billboard after billboard of warnings regarding the state’s “opidemic”), it’s also true that some states appear to be more vulnerable than others

New Protocols at UT Medical Center for IV Opioid Addicted Patients

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The University of Tennessee Medical Center is creating several new measures to hopefully stop the opioid epidemic in its tracks. This program sets up new protocols aimed at patients who come to the facility with an IV infection because of drug abuse. The rules are clear. A patient must sign a form agreeing to the medical center’s “IV Drug Use Associated Infection Plan of Care.” The pilot program treats the infection, while at the same time working with other agencies to treat the addiction. While the program isn’t mandatory, it gives patients the extra push they need to ask for help. The changes began Tuesday on four floors at UT Medical Center and there are hopes it becom

About 10 Percent of Those Who Need Help Get Opioid Treatment

KNOXVILLE - The opioid epidemic has left treatment clinics in East Tennessee with not enough beds to adequately treat all the patients that need help. According to the Helen Ross McNabb Center, only about 10 percent of those who need treatment for opioid addiction receive the help they need. "Our capacity in our community and in our state to serve the needs is well below what the needs are," said Hilde Phipps, director of Adult Addiction Services at Helen Ross McNabb Center. "We have literally hundreds of people who are waiting for the services that we provide." While detox treatment is easier to get into, residential rehab is far harder to come by. "What we'd like to do is after the detox s

UT Medical Center Changes Care Plans for IV Drug Users

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- UT Medical Center has had issues with patients bringing illegal drugs into the hospital. So they are changing their protocol for patients who come in with IV drug use infections. Chief Operating Officer Jerry Epps says, "It's important for us to increase patient safety. That's my responsibility, and the safety of our employees." Patients will have to sign a plan of care that outlines this new infection treatment which lasts about six to eight weeks while they administer antibiotics to kill the infection in the heart, bone or tissue. While in the hospital, the patients must wear hospital gowns instead of regular clothes, they won't be allowed to have any visitors, a

Opioid-Related Hospitalizations More Than Triple for Tennessee Seniors

Pain pills are sending more senior citizens to the hospital in Tennessee, according to data that sheds new light on how opioid addiction has spread to the state's aging population. The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade. Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people. Beyond pills: Treating pain without opioids Experts say physicians and family members are more likely

Drug Task Force Aims to Track Overdoses Back to Dealers

KNOXVILLE - As the death toll continues to climb, Knox County authorities are using every tool they have to catch those responsible for bringing drugs into East Tennessee. A newly established drug overdose task force is using a top-down approach to fight the OD epidemic. "The role that law enforcement plays is to hit the dealers, hit the folks that are prescribing wrongfully these opioids into the community," said Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen. "We are trying every way that we know how to stop the dealers from bringing the stuff into our community." The joint task force between the District Attorney's office, the Knoxville Police Department and the medical examiner's off

Nashville Mayor Reveals Son Overdosed on Opioids and Other Drugs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mayor Megan Barry heard a knock at her door at 3 a.m. on Sunday, July 30. “Your first thought is that you've had a police officer who's been injured,” she said, “and you need to get dressed, you need to go to the hospital, and you need to comfort the family." Instead, she was the one who would need comforting. The officers at the door told her it was her son who had just died of a suspected overdose in Denver hours earlier. arry told NBC News Wednesday her son had a combination of drugs in his system when he died of an overdose 10 days ago. She said the drugs included Xanax, cocaine, and the opioids methadone and hydromorphone. The autopsy report showed the cause of death

3 Tennessee Counties on CDC Monthly Report on Opioid Prescriptions

The Centers for Disease Control in July released a monthly report, Vital Signs, that determined morphine equivalent milligrams per capita, annually for counties across the U.S. Three Tennessee counties are in the top twenty nationally: Campbell County, Claiborne County and Cocke County. “We are seeing generational poverty. With that generational poverty becomes all that drug abuse. With that, we have to educate those kids and break that mold — this is not acceptable.” said Raewyn Snodderly, a pharmacist at Terry’s Pharmacy in LaFollette. The CDC report shows there are six times more opioids per resident dispensed in the highest-prescribing counties than in the lowest-prescribing counties. Ca

National Opioid Epidemic Emergency Declaration will Save Lives

The opioid epidemic is a national emergency that requires special attention and greater focus and resources to fight it. President Donald Trump's declaration of a public health emergency is welcome, needed and essential to save lives. Drug overdoses are the No. 1 killer of Americans: 142 people are dying in the U.S. every day. Tennessee has the second-highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 33,000 people died from an overdose and 20,000 were dying from their addiction in 2015, according to the most recent CDC data. There are 22 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 Tennesseans, and 6,036 overdose deaths have been recor

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.