Opioid Summit Planning Documents

Presentation by Karen Pershing, Jan. 24, 2019

Opiates, Opioids and Addiction Information

Resources from American Addiction Centers

Opioids and Tennessee

Opioids and Tennessee’s Economy

UT Response & Resources

Stories on what the University, its resources, expertise and people are doing to address, respond to and help mitigate the opioid crisis statewide.

The Tangle: Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis


UT Health Science Center

  • The leading state institution for research on causes, treatment and prevention of disease
  • More than 1,300 medical residents and fellows, and 105 post-doctoral researchers in FY2017
  • 343 investigators actively performing research in FY’17
  • 100 programs certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
Bridging the Gaps: The Opioid Crisis:
Presentation by Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns, Dean of UT Health Science Center College of Pharmacy
Center for Addiction Science at UT Health Science Center:

News & Announcements

UT Knoxville


  • Matt Harris, UT Knoxville Assistant Professor of Economics
    A Battle Worth Fighting,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue
  • Dr. Geogy Thomas, Dayspring Family Health Center (Alumnus UT Knoxville ’15)
    On a Mission,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue
  • Charme Allen, District Attorney General for the 6th Judicial District in Knox County (UT Knoxville ’90)
    Standing Up to Big Pharma,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue

News & Announcements

UT Chattanooga

News & Announcements

UT Martin


  • Social worker intervention:
    Weakley County Prevention Coalition (two UT Martin grads, one UT Knoxville grad) are working to combat opioid problem in Northwest Tennessee, educating students and parents, distributing medication lock boxes to families and Narcan (overdose death prevention drug) to law enforcement.
  • SOARx student coalition
    Students Organized Against Drugs, the only entirely student-run and student-organized anti-drugs coalition on a Tennessee college campus, was established in spring 2018. The group hosted a university health fair and “kick butts” tobacco education presentation and partnered with Weakley County Prevention Coalition to host an on-campus drug take-back day April 27 at UT Martin. Members also worked with WCPC to distribute almost 1,000 ID coders to Weakley County businesses to help quickly determine whether a buyer of alcohol is of legal drinking age.
  • Drug Take-Back Box:
    Installed in early March, UT Martin’s drug take-back box is the first of its kind on a Tennessee university campus. The box is in the Department of Public Safety headquarters and is accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. All prescription and over-the-counter medications can be discarded in the box, no questions asked, for safe disposal.


  • Suzanne Harper, Director of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition (Alumna UT Martin ’11)
    Saving the Children,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue

UT Institute of Agriculture


UT Extension

“Health Rocks” youth education:
Present in all 95 counties, Tennessee 4-H, run by UT Extension, helps children age 9 and older with social and life skills, and citizenship and leadership development. Health Rocks is a national 4-H wellness education program Tennessee 4-H began offering in 2008.

Health Rocks continually evolves to address new, contemporary issues. It now includes education to help young people understand differences between legal/illegal drugs, between appropriate/inappropriate use of legal drugs, and signs of drug abuse/addiction to watch for among young friends and family.

Health Rocks,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue



UT College of Veterinary Medicine

Terry Stevens, veterinary pharmacist and member of Gov. Haslam’s Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine:
While veterinary medicine doesn’t currently have the problem with opiate abuse and “doctor-shopping” that human medicine has, UT veterinary instruction already emphasizes not writing opiate prescriptions as the first line of treatment for pain. In most cases, veterinarians are both doctor and pharmacist: the veterinarian diagnoses the patient and gives medicine to the patient. Care is necessary to ensure veterinary medicine does not find itself confronting opiate abuse. Veterinarians can learn from the opiate problems in human medicine. As dogs and cats are living longer, they are experiencing more health problems related to advancing age and the possibility of increased need for veterinary pain medicines. Stevens tells members of the Governor’s Commission “that human medicine could learn from how veterinarians treat pain in our clients.”

UT Institute for Public Service


Overdose Intervention:
The UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center, a unit of the Institute for Public Service, delivers training to law enforcement officers in how to administer Narcan, a life-saving drug to prevent death from opioid overdose.

Increasing Incidents,” Tennessee Alumnus, Fall 2018 Issue