“Has fentanyl peaked?” is the wrong question.

On May 21, the New York Times published an article titled “Has Fentanyl Peaked?” The premise is that the “opioid crisis…may finally be turning around” based on the fact that preliminary data from the CDC shows that drug overdose deaths slightly declined in 2023, now down to 107,543 estimated deaths

SMART in the news: “A chance collaboration between the nightlife director and a police sergeant has yielded a breakthrough”

“One of his partners in that effort was Trevor Henderson, the former director of Metro Public Health’s Overdose Response Program who is now working as a substance use response consultant with the University of Tennessee’s SMART Initiative — or, Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee. A year or so

Forest For the Trees: The Stigma of Substance Use During Pregnancy

Watch this documentary on the stigma of substance use during pregnancy, masterfully produced by ETSU’s Dr. Kelly Moore, funded by the Tennessee Department of Health.  Featured are mothers in recovery and several experts across the state, including SMART Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Tourville and friends of SMART Dr. Stephen Loyd,

(Podcast) Recovery Community Centers Are Changing Everything

Click here to listen on Spotify Naloxone. Access to treatment. Housing. Employment. Educational opportunities. We’re used to hearing about the need for these aspects of recovery. But what about community? A place to gather with others, especially those with similar experiences? That’s where recovery community centers come in. My first

(Podcast) Nashville’s Overdose Co-Response Unit Brings Harm Reduction to Law Enforcement

Click here to listen on Spotify As the drug overdose deaths continue to climb, we have heard more and more Sheriffs and law enforcement officers across the state say “we can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem.” That the criminal justice system plays an important role, but not the only

(Podcast) The Buprenorphine Waiver is Gone…Now What?

Click here to listen on Spotify There have been huge changes at the federal level regarding the prescribing of medications for opioid use disorder, particularly regarding buprenorphine. For two decades since the DATA 2000 law, addiction clinicians had to get a specialized waiver through the DEA to prescribe buprenorphine, and

(Podcast) How Law Enforcement is Rethinking Mental Health and Addiction

Click here to listen on Spotify If anyone has gotten a true bird’s eye view of the drug problem in the United States, it’s someone like Special Agent Karl Colder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. From starting in Philadelphia when crack cocaine was the top concern to overseeing the

(Podcast) Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose

TEMPO, or Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdoses, is a multi-coalition and nonprofit program to distribute naloxone and train musicians and concert venue workers to identify and prevent opioid overdoses. TEMPO has recently made waves in Nashville with a pilot program in partnership with Hikma, who makes Kloxxado, as

(Podcast) Are More Syringe Service Programs Coming to Rural Tennessee?

My guest this month is Karen Pershing, executive director of Metro Drug Coalition. In the last legislative session, Karen played a significant role in pushing for a bill that reduced the barrier to opening new syringe service programs in rural Tennessee. In this episode, we discuss the impact of the

(Podcast) The Kids Are Alright: Meet the Rocky Top Recovery Ambassadors

The Rocky Top Recovery Ambassadors are a group of college students, undergrad and grad, that identify as being in recovery and or having a mental health disorder. Building a community on campus of students wanting a safer, sober college experience, the ambassadors hosted weekly all-recovery meetings and mental health events,