Overdose Awareness Day Draws Hundreds to Capitol to Honor Loved Ones

Exactly 176 passengers walked single file into an airplane that sat on the lawn in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday evening. Although the Boeing 737 plane was only a vinyl cutout and the passengers were only volunteers standing on the grass, Amber Baum believes the visual is a powerful symbol for the number of people in the United States who die every day from an opioid overdose. “If that plane crashed, and tomorrow a plane crashed, and the next day a plane crashed, do you think something would happen?” she asked. “Absolutely something would happen.” Hundreds gathered on the steps of the Capitol for International Overdose Awareness Day to see the plane display and release balloons i

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

Campbell County Mom Remembers Son on International Overdose Awareness Day

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Lisa Murphy likes to remember her son as the smiling father holding his baby girl. He has a daughter who's now 4 and she will probably not even remember him as she gets older," says Murphy. "She sees pictures, she goes with me to the cemetery but at her age, she really doesn't understand that that's her dad and that he's gone." Murphy says her son died of a drug overdose last year after his friend provided him drugs. He was 30. "He thought they were heroin," said Murphy. "They were all fentanyl. When he took those drugs, instead of her taking him to the hospital, she didn't want to get in trouble, so, she drug him out of her car and threw him in a ditch and left him there

Tennesseans Remember Victims on International Overdose Awareness Day

Friday marked International Overdose Awareness Day -- a global effort to bring attention to the crisis. Each year on Aug. 31, former addicts, family and friends gathered to remember the lost loved ones. The group hopes to prevent future overdose deaths and raise awareness to the issue, offering a candlelight tribute for those who've died to drug overdose. As a symbol of their loss, each family carried a pair of shoes to the somber tribute. The overdose crisis continues to be felt here at home in East Tennessee. As of Aug. 31, 2018 -- 198 people had died to suspected overdose in Knox County alone. That's two more than the 196 that had died at this point last year. 293 people total died in 201

Cornerstone Opens 'Sister' Addiction Recovery Program That Accepts Tenncare/Medicaid

Lindsay Danis remembers in the most hopeless era of her life calling and trying to find addiction treatment — in between using the narcotic drugs again. Danis had state-sponsored insurance — TennCare. But finding a recovery facility that would take TennCare and had an open bed was daunting. Many facilities have a limited number of Medicaid beds, and it’s necessary to call daily to see if one has opened. Danis had more options if she looked out of town, but transportation was an issue — in her addiction, she’d pushed family and friends to the point of no longer being able to help her, and the friends she had left used drugs themselves. “By the time I was to the point that I realized this was

Feds Investigating Pain Management Company

Nashville Tennessean USA TODAY NETWORK - TENNESSEE Federal authorities are quietly investigating Comprehensive Pain Specialists, a large Brentwood-based pain management company that abruptly closed dozens of clinics in eight states last month. The company operated clinics in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville and throughout rural Tennessee. The federal investigation, led by the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office, is separate from and in addition to an ongoing criminal prosecution of the company’s former CEO, John Davis, who was indicted for health care fraud earlier this year. The civil investigation was revealed in a federal court transcript filed in Davis’ case on Monday.

'I have No Quality of Life': Opioid Laws have Unintended Effects, Says Chronic Pain Patient

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Chronic pain patients say they're being overlooked in the opioid crisis. Because of the crackdown on opioid prescriptions, those who depend on the painkillers say their quality of life has declined. Beginning July 1, Tennessee enacted one of the most strict and aggressive opioid policies in the nation. Over the objections of the Tennessee Medical Association, the state began limiting initial opioid prescriptions. As a result, those with chronic pain say there are unintended consequences in acquiring effective pain management because of the law. It's painful for Steve Glass to get out of a chair. The former roofer who now lives at his father's house in Knoxville say

Feds Investigating Pain Management Company

Nashville Tennessean USA TODAY NETWORK - TENNESSEE Federal authorities are quietly investigating Comprehensive Pain Specialists, a large Brentwood-based pain management company that abruptly closed dozens of clinics in eight states last month. The company operated clinics in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville and throughout rural Tennessee. The federal investigation, led by the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office, is separate from and in addition to an ongoing criminal prosecution of the company’s former CEO, John Davis, who was indicted for health care fraud earlier this year. The civil investigation was revealed in a federal court transcript filed in Davis’ case on Monday.

UT Medical Center Treats Dozens of Overdose Patients Every Day

KNOXVILLE — Beyond the pain and chaos of the emergency room, there’s one thing that keeps Dr. Anneliese Cuttle awake at night. "The fact that I can’t get to them before they come to me," said Dr. Cuttle, an emergency room physician at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. "The hardest part of my job is telling the mother of a young person or the parent of a child that their wife or mother or son or daughter is dead and that they’re not coming back." For many who overdose, the UT Medical Center is the first place they go in an effort to save their lives. As people continue to die every day, doctors are on the front lines in the critical moments that determine whether someone lives or di

I Have No Quality of Life': Opioid Laws Have Unintended Effects, Says Chronic Pain Patient

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Chronic pain patients say they're being overlooked in the opioid crisis. Because of the crackdown on opioid prescriptions, those who depend on the painkillers say their quality of life has declined. Beginning July 1, Tennessee enacted one of the most strict and aggressive opioid policies in the nation. Over the objections of the Tennessee Medical Association, the state began limiting initial opioid prescriptions. As a result, those with chronic pain say there are unintended consequences in acquiring effective pain management because of the law. t's painful for Steve Glass to get out of a chair. The former roofer who now lives at his father's house in Knoxville says

Billboards Remind Drivers of the Dangers of Opioids

KNOXVILLE — If you want to put a face to a number, a billboard is a good place to start. Billboards across East Tennessee now have the faces and stories of overdoes victims and survivors. The Tennessee Overdose Prevention organization is raising awareness for the opioid epidemic by catching driver's attention as they head down the road. "I hope they see a beautiful young life and wonder, hey if it can happen to her, it can happen to me," said Donna Towe, whose daughter overdosed in 2015. "I will never have a whole heart again ever. Nothing can ever bring that back. That’s your child." Her daughter Taygan overdosed three years ago. Now her picture reminds drivers heading down the road about t

Overdose Awareness Vigil Slated Friday

A candlelight vigil is planned this week in downtown Cleveland in observance of overdose awareness. The “Save Our Children — International Overdose Awareness Vigil” is scheduled for 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Bradley County Courthouse Plaza. According to www.overdoseday.com, International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held Aug. 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Locally, the Tennessee Overdose Prevention organization has partnered with 64 Butterflies, a grief support group for parents which can be found on Facebook as “64 Butterflies.” In a post on the 64 Butterflies Facebook page, group founder Angie Taylor not

Billboards Remind Drivers of the Dangers of Opioids

KNOXVILLE — If you want to put a face to a number, a billboard is a good place to start. Billboards across East Tennessee now have the faces and stories of overdoes victims and survivors. The Tennessee Overdose Prevention organization is raising awareness for the opioid epidemic by catching driver's attention as they head down the road. "I hope they see a beautiful young life and wonder, hey if it can happen to her, it can happen to me," said Donna Towe, whose daughter overdosed in 2015. "I will never have a whole heart again ever. Nothing can ever bring that back. That’s your child." Her daughter Taygan overdosed three years ago. Now her picture reminds drivers heading down the road about t

Feds Investigating Tennessee Pain Clinic Company that Abruptly Closed

Federal authorities are quietly investigating Comprehensive Pain Specialists, a large Brentwood-based pain management company that abruptly closed dozens of clinics in eight states last month. The company operated clinics in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville and throughout rural Tennessee. The federal investigation, led by the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office, is separate from and in addition to an ongoing criminal prosecution of the company’s former CEO, John Davis, who was indicted for health care fraud earlier this year. The civil investigation was revealed in a federal court transcript filed in Davis’ case on Monday. While differentiating the civil investigation from

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