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TDMHSAS Expands Capacity of Successful Addiction Treatment and Recovery Program

New Lifeliners to be based in rural, distressed counties
Monday, March 02, 2020 | 09:07am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is proud to add five new Lifeline Peer Project Coordinators in rural and distressed areas of the state.  The new Lifeliners, as they are known, will be based in Cocke, Grundy, Lauderdale, McNairy, and Scott Counties.

Through the Lifeline Peer Project, people with lived experience of addiction and at least two years in recovery use their past to help people overcome the disease of addiction.  Since the program started in 2014, Lifeliners have connected more than 9,000 people with treatment resources and have helped create more than 600 community recovery support meetings.  They have also held more than 5,000 trainings on addiction in the communities they serve.

“This is a program that is truly low-cost but also very high impact.  Our Lifeliners are chain breakers and way makers in the communities they serve,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams.  “We’re constantly hearing success stories about the lives changed by our ten current Lifeliners, and we know that adding capacity in our rural and distressed areas will be a vital resource to get people into treatment and recovery.”

In conjunction with their roles of connecting individuals to treatment and starting recovery support groups, Lifeliners are tasked with erasing the stigma of addiction in the communities they serve by sharing their personal recovery stories.  Additionally, many of the current Lifeliners serve above and beyond creating connection and building resources among communities of faith and on college campuses.

“The dynamic individuals who serve as Lifeliners are constantly thinking of new ways to spread the good news of recovery and bring help to the hurting.  It’s been immensely gratifying to watch this program grow, first as a Lifeliner myself, and now as the program director,” said Dr. Monty Burks, TDMHSAS Director of Faith-Based Initiatives.

To learn more about the Lifeline Peer Project, visit this link on TN.gov.