Tennessee's Opioid Abatement Council Announces First Round of Community Grants

Nearly $81 million going to programs for opioid remediation
Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 08:51am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Council is releasing its first ever community grants totaling $80,936,057.  Programs funded through the grants will support work in response to opioid addiction throughout Tennessee for up to three years.

Organizations from across the state designed programs and submitted 396 proposals during the OAC’s application period last fall.  Council staff and members processed, evaluated, and scored the proposals.  The Opioid Abatement Council debated and approved 116 grants during a meeting in Farragut on March 18.

In meetings leading up to the grant application period, the Council decided percentages of funding to dedicate to each of six approved strategies.  Final totals of programs funded in each of the areas are as follows:

  • Treatment – $32,775,972
  • Recovery Support – $18,970,500
  • Primary Prevention – $12,201,837
  • Education and Training – $8,173,701
  • Harm Reduction – $8,061,539
  • Research and Evaluation – $752,508

The 116 projects approved by the council are programs designed by 85 distinct awardees, 30 of the 116 projects are designed for statewide reach, and about $5.7 million of the total amount awarded is for capital projects.

Link to List of Funded Community Projects

“When the history of the opioid crisis in our state is written, people will look back at this date as a landmark on the road to healing the unbelievable harm done to so many families and communities,” said Stephen Loyd, MD, Opioid Abatement Council Chairman.  “At every meeting, we pause to ‘remember our why,’ and I can say that the level of thought and care put into this process truly honors the ‘why’ for all of our members and the countless families that have been touched by opioid addiction in Tennessee.”


Funding for the community grants comes from settlements with opioid producers, distributors, pharmacies, and marketers litigated by the Tennessee Attorney General.  The settlement proceeds are first split with 15% going to local governments and 15% going to state government and 70% going to the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund.  The Opioid Abatement Fund is then split with 65% going to community grants under the authority of the Opioid Abatement Council and 35% going to county governments for approved opioid remediation activities.  The first round of direct funding to county governments for opioid abatement totaled $31.4M and was released about a year ago.

“The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office is so proud of the Opioid Abatement Council’s diligent efforts to fight the opioid epidemic,” Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said.  “This office has worked hard for years to obtain money for Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Trust Fund by holding companies accountable for their opioid-related misconduct.  We are gratified to see that money put to good use by the Council and the grant recipients.  We have ensured that settlement money will flow into the trust fund for years to come, and we thank the Opioid Abatement Council and its chairman, Dr. Stephen Loyd, for their wise stewardship of these hard-earned dollars.”

“It’s been such a collaborative effort to get to where we are today.  From the hard work and long hours of our council members and council staff to the guidance and support from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, there are so many dedicated public servants who have contributed greatly.  And now as we release this funding to grantees, the focus turns to ensuring that every dollar makes a difference,” said Mary Shelton, Opioid Abatement Council Executive Director.

Learn more about Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Council at TN.gov/oac.