Acting AG Matthew Whitaker Discusses Drugs

Nashville Tennessean USA TODAY NETWORK - TENNESSEE Amid mounting legal pressure on the Trump White House, acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker took a business-as-usual approach to a Tennessee visit Thursday, touting the administration’s ongoing efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. Flanked by federal prosecutors from across the state during a brief stop in Nashville, Whitaker read through a list of statistics that highlighted the scale of the crisis. He emphasized that it was a top priority for President Donald Trump, repeating Trump’s name multipletimes during his 15-minute speech. Whitaker did not take questions or discuss new initiatives. He did not address the national drama

Knox Doctor with Penchant for Paralyzing Cavity Searches Admits Selling Prescriptions for Cash

THREE MOMS. THREE CHILDREN. THREE STORIES OF SUCCESS. Addiction is a family disease. For every person who suffers with substance use disorder, there is an entire community of family and loved ones that suffers right alongside them. Perhaps the most direct casualties of addiction are the loved ones of substance use disorder survivors; and there are few, if any, family members that suffer more than mothers of addicted children. On the other hand, mothers are often uniquely empowered to help their addicted children overcome drugs and alcohol. Recovery Unplugged has had the distinct honor of speaking with three incredibly strong and devoted mothers, and hearing how they pulled their children bac

As Tenn. Cracks Down on Drugged Driving, Parents Who Lost Son in Crash Warn of Dangers

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) - For Sondra and Norbert Braunwalder, April 10, 2014, is a day they wish they could forget. "I thought to myself, 'he can’t be dead, not possible,'" said Norbert. The couple’s 13-year-old Clifton was changing a flat tire for his mother on Interstate 24 in Smyrna when a driver veered across traffic, hitting and killing their son. "I just remember hearing the screech," Sondra said. "I don’t remember anything else." "The impact and momentum just threw him about 30 feet away," Norbert said. MORE: Rutherford Co. memorial sign remembers teen killed on I-24 Police said the driver, Tina Wilson, who fled the scene, was under the influence of Xanax, amphetamines, and marijua

Knoxville Woman in Addiction Recovery Shares Power and Value of Naloxone

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - The U.S. life expectancy is dropping and according to a new study, the mortality rate is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionsaying a person born last year can only expect to live 78.6 years. That's a decrease of .1-percent from 2016. CDC researchers say the opioid epidemic has a lot to do with that, there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths last year alone which is a new high. In Knox County, 293 people fatally overdosed in 2017 and the District Attorney's Office reporting that number keeps going up year to year. So far in 2018, there have been 265 suspected overdose deaths in our area. A big way Knoxville Police and law enforcement ac

Here Are Some New Sobering Numbers about the Opioid Crisis in Tennessee

SO, HOW BAD IS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN TENNESSEE? Here are some new sobering numbers: Tennessee ranks No. 1 in the country in terms of opioid sales per capita by state. In 2017, Tennessee averaged 44.3 kilograms of opioid sales per 100,000 people. This is nearly double the national average of 24.4 kg per 100,000 people. WOW! https://www.facebook.com/NickBeresNC5/photos/a.10151994787066640/10155728017541640/?type=3theater

‘Sober Bar’ and Coffee Shop Opens in Ontario to Help Those Struggling

Hugging the Detroit River lies the quaint and bustling city of Windsor, Ontario. As the southernmost city in Canada, Windsor is known as the “Automotive Capital of Canada.” And, as the epidemic of the opioid crisis has plagued America, it knows no borders and has included small towns like Windsor in its catastrophic path. However, just a couple of blocks from the waterfront, lies “Spiritual Soldiers Coffee Compound” – which isn’t your ordinary coffee house. Coffee Shop By Day, Sober Bar By Night Coffee shop by day, and coined, “sober bar” by night, “Spiritual Soldiers” is a hidden gem where those struggling can share hope, a cup of coffee, and camaraderie with others that have struggled with

‘Sober Bar’ and Coffee Shop Opens in Ontario to Help Those Struggling

Hugging the Detroit River lies the quaint and bustling city of Windsor, Ontario. As the southernmost city in Canada, Windsor is known as the “Automotive Capital of Canada.” And, as the epidemic of the opioid crisis has plagued America, it knows no borders and has included small towns like Windsor in its catastrophic path. However, just a couple of blocks from the waterfront, lies “Spiritual Soldiers Coffee Compound” – which isn’t your ordinary coffee house. Coffee Shop By Day, Sober Bar By Night Coffee shop by day, and coined, “sober bar” by night, “Spiritual Soldiers” is a hidden gem where those struggling can share hope, a cup of coffee, and camaraderie with others that have struggled with

This Is the Brutal, Draconian Drug Warrior Background of Trump's Acting Attorney General

This is the brutal, draconian drug warrior background of Trump's acting attorney general By all accounts, the War on Drugs has been a colossal failure in the United States. Not only has it failed to significantly reduce drug use among Americans—it has also promoted mass incarceration, cost the taxpayers a fortune and resulted in countless innocent Americans being killed in botched no-knock drug raids. And one of the Drug War’s ardent supporters—at least in the past—has been Matthew Whitaker, who President Donald Trump picked to serve as acting attorney general after firing Jeff Sessions. The fact that Whitaker has been an outspoken critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related in

Twenty-Two Indicted in Meth Distribution Conspiracy

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — A federal grand jury in Greeneville returned a 76-count indictment against 22 people for their roles in the distribution of methamphetamine (meth). The indictment came on Oct. 10, but it was recently unsealed by the U.S. District Court. It alleges that all 22 were involved in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of meth in the Eastern District of Tennessee and elsewhere, along with charges related to the distribution and possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances and money laundering. They were also each charged with at least one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to the Department of Justice.

Juul in School

Backpacks filled with empty nicotine cartridges, hallway sales of e-cigarettes and bathrooms clouded with vapor — this is a typical day at Bearden High School in Knoxville, two students say. “Almost everyone in the school has a Juul (e-cigarette),” said John, a 16-year-old junior at Bearden who would only agree to be identified by his first name. “They’re doing it every day, every minute, every chance they get.” In order to combat nicotine use among youth, the FDA is implementing a partial ban on the sale of flavored ecigarettes, which Knoxville students say are frequently and heavily used in both college and high school. The ban will prevent most retail locations from selling e-cigarettes i

Helen Ross McNabb Center Cuts Ribbon on Morristown's First 'Recovery Home'

Morristown's first 'Recovery Home' marked the official open Monday morning with a ribbon cutting. The Recovery Home is a four-unit transitional and supportive housing complex. It will house up to 20 women at a time for at least four months. It will provide the extended care the women need to successfully transition from the Jail to Work program back into their community. “The Recovery Home will provide a much needed sober living environment for women coming out of the Center’s Jail to Work program,” said Jerry Vagnier, Helen Ross McNabb Center’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled by the community’s support around both the Jail to Work program and the Recovery Home.” The Recovery Home was ma

I Was Addicted: TN High School, College Students React to FDA Ban on Flavored E-cigarettes

Backpacks filled with empty nicotine cartridges, hallway sales of e-cigarettes and bathrooms clouded with vapor — this is a typical day at Bearden High School in Knoxville, two students say. "Almost everyone in the school has a Juul (e-cigarette)," said John, a 16-year-old junior at Bearden who would only agree to be identified by his first name. "They're doing it every day, every minute, every chance they get." In order to combat nicotine use among youth, the FDA is implementing a partial ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which Knoxville students say are frequently and heavily used in both college and high school. The ban will prevent most retail locations from selling e-cigarettes

Author Says Isolation Fuels Opioid Crisis

Knoxville News Sentinel USA TODAY NETWORK - TENNESSEE “The antidote to heroin is not naloxone,” journalist Sam Quinones told 450 people in a hotel ballroom in downtown Knoxville on Wednesday morning. “It’s community.” On his third trip to speak in Knoxville, Quinones — author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” — focused as much on the underlying cultural attitudes and divisions that made the drug epidemic possible as on the drugs themselves and their history. As keynote speaker for a community event hosted by nonprofit Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee, he talked about the rise and fall of Americans’ idea that all pain, including emotional, should be suppres

Tennessee Dentist Wrote 71 Opioid Prescriptions to a Single Patient in Just Six Months

A small-town Tennessee dentist has lost his professional license after admitting to giving about 200 opioid prescriptions to a handful of patients despite questionable justification in his medical records. In one case, the dentist wrote a single patient 71 opioid prescriptions, averaging 10 hydrocodone pills each, in a span of only six months, according to newly released medical discipline records. Five of these prescriptions occurred in within two weeks, records state. As a result of these findings, Michael Tittle, a 64-year-old dentist in Erwin, a small town near the North Carolina border, agreed to have his dental license revoked during a settlement agreement with the Tennessee Board of D

Hepatitis A Cases in Nashville Grows to 150, Health Dept. Urging People to Get Vaccinated

There are now 150 confirmed confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Nashville since December, according to officials with Metro Public Health Department. Officials are urging people who use drugs, men who have sexual contact with other men, and homeless people to get vaccinated. "The Health Department and our community partners have vaccinated nearly 7,400 people in Nashville since the outbreak was announced in late May." The health department says vaccination initiatives will continue "in an effort to end the outbreak." They're working with organizations that serve the homeless, the LGBTQ community, working with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office to vaccinate inmates and working to reach out to

Westmoreland PD Helps Get People Off Drugs

Nashville Tennessean USA TODAY NETWORK -TENNESSEE Within 48 hours in early November, the Westmoreland Police Department had two residents ask officers for help: help to end their addiction. And within 48 hours, both individuals entered treatment. One woman was in treatment within 45 minutes. “If you come in and say, ‘I have an issue, I have a problem,’ that’s not a crime — that’s a call for help,” Chief Ray Amalfitano said. Approximately 20 residents have taken advantage of the department’s offer to help get them into treatment from addiction, no questions asked. Hope to stop ‘Four-corner effect’ Amalfitano said he and the police officers decided to start this program after several residents

DEA: Stopping Diversion of Prescription Opioids Starts With Providers

About half of people who misuse prescription drugs get them for free from a friend or family member, the federal government found — but another 22 percent report getting them from a single doctor. Martin Redd thinks better educating providers could cut down on both groups. "It's a cultural shift for practitioners," said Redd, diversion program manager for the Louisville Field Division of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. "In the early 1990s, there was a push for practitioners to take care of pain by whatever means possible. They were pushed by patients, pushed by their peers, pushed by the drug companies to do what they could to alleviate pain. Now it's slowly p

Overdose Memorial Tree

The Overdose Memorial Tree stands in remembrance of community members who lost their lives to drugs. In 2017, nearly 300 people died of a drug overdose in Knox County. Family members are invited to hang an ornament in honor of their loved one who passed away. If you would like to participate, please contact Tracee Smith at (865) 215-3875.

Sevier County Sheriff: 38 Arrested after Undercover Drug Operation 'just Say No-vember'

An undercover operation called "Just Say No-vember" led to 58 people being indicted on drug-related charges last week, Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals announced Tuesday. Thirty-eight of those people were taken into custody Tuesday after a slew of agencies — including the sheriff's office, the Sevierville Police Department and the Gatlinburg Police Department — began making arrests at 5 a.m. The 8-month operation aimed to crack down on heroin, opioids, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs, the sheriff said in a news release. Undercover officers purchased several weapons during the sting, and they seized six vehicles and $4,740 in cash, the release states. According to the sheriff's office,

Vanderbilt Builds Sober Dorms on Campus

Vanderbilt Recovery Housing began in 2014. Vanderbilt has a tiered recovery housing system with one anonymous dorm (for students with a minimum of six months recovery) and a second tier that has floors within other dorms anonymously designated specifically for students who have been in recovery for 90 days. Students interested in residing in the sober dorms have a minimum of six months sobriety (90 days for the sober floors), be active in a recovery program and agree to all Recovery Housing requirements. Relapses while in recovery housing are assessed and managed on a case by case basis They are provided with individual mentorship, accountability and above all discretion. VRH has one full-ti

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