Throughout its tangled history, opioids have brought help and hurt through opium, laudanum, morphine and, now, oxycodone. We bought into modern medicine’s tale of pain-free safety through opioids’ latest synthetic version. Instead, we have been caught in the drug’s centuries-old tale.
Tennessee has an estimated 70,000 people addicted to opioids, according to the Tennessee State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Each person exacts a toll beyond his or her own life; drug addiction impacts families, communities and the state.
Yet hope remains.
UT has joined the battle. Students share their stories of loss and educate others. Researchers reach out and help the addicted. Alumni fight back, using their varied platforms. We are helping Tennesseans cut free from the drug’s entanglement and reclaim their lives.
As one of UT’s researchers said, “It is a battle worth fighting.” And we’re in it for all of Tennessee.
Fall 2018 Features
In unchecked growth of prescriptions, opiates caught millions of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in the tangle of addiction. UT researchers, alumni and students are working to free the ensnared.
Learn more about Tennessee’s opioid crisis
A discovery by UT Knoxville-based economists led to Gov. Bill Haslam developing a $30 million dollar plan to begin dealing with the opioid crisis.
Learn more about Matt Harris’ discovery
In the Tennessee county hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, UT Knoxville alumnus Dr. Geogy Thomas works to help the most innocent of victims—the babies addicted in the womb—along with their mothers and fathers.
Learn more about Campbell County
With the majority of drug overdose deaths attributed to opioids, UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center partnered with BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation to do something about it.
Learn more about the LEIC
The UTHSC Center for Addiction Science is committed: Committed to research, treatment, outreach and education in this fight against drug addiction. “It’s a work in progress,” the center’s program director says.
Learn more about the Center for Addiction Science
UT alumna and Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen has taken the war against the opioid epidemic to the courtroom – the civil one.
Learn more by reading Charme’s story
Each day, more than 1,600 American teenagers take a first step into a lifelong cycle of drug addiction. UT Martin alumni in Weakley County are fighting back.
Learn more about how UTM alumni are fighting back
After UT Chattanooga student Austin Holdsworth lost his brother and friends to drug overdoses, he could not be quiet anymore.
Learn more by reading Austin’s story
With the opioid epidemic killing more than 100 people in our nation daily, the UT Institute of Agriculture is fighting to end this crisis through education.
Learn more about how Extension and 4-H are making a difference
Generational addiction stalked the family of Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis. But she didn’t back down. She owned her truth.
Learn more by reading Caty’s story
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