Overdoses Continue to Rise in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Metro Nashville Health Department released new numbers on Monday showing suspected drug overdoses continue to rise this year. As of Friday, 411 people have died of a drug overdose in 2020. Over the past 12 weeks, an average of 11 people have died from a drug overdose each week. Fentanyl has been found in 80% of overdose deaths for which toxicology reports have been completed Calls to EMS for suspected overdoses are up 42% compared to 2019. The past 12 weeks have shown an average of 128 suspected drug overdoses reported each week. “We’ve got to talk about this as a community. Stigma, if we can get past it, we can get to hope, treatment and long-term recovery. It’s n

On International Overdose Awareness Day COVID-19 Pushes Overdose Deaths up in Knox County

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Monday marked International Overdose Awareness Day. While some hope they are never affected by this, the reality is that many people and their families are. Knox County’s District Attorney General Charme Allen said overdose numbers had been on a downward trend in Knox County — until COVID-19 hit. In a chart posted on the district attorney general’s website you can see the jump in overdose deaths in March. January and February had lower numbers, but come March of 2020, those numbers went up. In 2020 so far, 218 people had died from overdoses in Knox County, according to the site. For perspective, in 2019 there were 259 overdose deaths. In 2018 that number was 294. Th

'We Do Recover' | Knoxville Woman Part of Statewide Overdose Awareness Campaign

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When Jessica Stanley drives by her face on a billboard, she said it feels like a dream. For nine years, she struggled with addiction. "When I first started this journey, I thought that recovery wasn't for me," she told 10News. "I didn't think that it was possible. I didn't think that someone like myself deserved a happy life." At age 13, Stanley was diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. She said she went to jails, institutions and treatment centers. Although she overdosed multiple times, Stanley said Narcan brought her back. "Everyone needs as many chances as possible to be able to find happiness in their life," she said. "That's exactly what Narcan is. It saves peopl

Patients’ Access To Opioid Treatment Cumbersome

Women are having a difficult time getting into treatment for opioid addictions, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published today in JAMA Network Open. The “secret shopper” study used trained actors attempting to get into treatment with an addiction provider in 10 U.S. states. The results, with more than 10,000 unique patients, revealed numerous challenges in scheduling a first-time appointment to receive medications for opioid use disorder, including finding a provider who takes insurance rather than cash. The situation only gets worse for women who are pregnant and addicted to opioids. Overall, pregnant women were about 20% less likely to be accepted for treatment t

Closing the Brain–Heart Loop: Towards More Holistic Models of Addiction and Addiction Recovery

Much research seeks to articulate the brain structures and pathways implicated in addiction and addiction recovery. Prominent neurobiological models emphasize the interplay between cortical and limbic brain regions as a main driver of addictive processes, but largely do not take into consideration sensory and visceral information streams that link context and state to the brain and behavior. Yet these brain–body information streams would seem to be necessary elements of a comprehensive model of addiction. As a starting point, we describe the overlap between one current model of addiction circuitry and the neural network that not only regulates cardiovascular system activity but also receives

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