Faith-Based Initiatives

Addiction has taken a deep toll on Tennessee families.  In 2018, 1,818 Tennesseans died from an overdose, or about five people each day.  The growth of this addiction crisis has left no community untouched, but we have a great resource in our communities of faith.  Of the 6.6 million Tennesseans, 85% affiliate with one of the state’s 11,500 houses of faith.  As TDMHSAS developed its response to this crisis, department leaders recognized the opportunity to leverage this critical, untapped network of caring individuals and faith communities as a means to help address addiction in our state.

Faith-Based Initiatives: Success Stories


The goals of the Faith-Based Initiative are to:

  • Connect individuals struggling with addiction to treatment
  • Increase knowledge of what addiction is
  • Facilitate understanding of substance use disorder treatment and recovery
  • Understand the continuum of care and collaborate with it
  • Spread awareness of the Faith-Based Initiative certification and its requirements
  • Help groups understand and implement the best practice model
  • Promote and improve effectiveness of the faith-based initiative and how it connects the community with recovery and support services

A new initiative is providing the framework for faith-based organizations across Tennessee to join in a recovery network. The Division of Substance Abuse Services is actively engaging faith communities.


When you successfully complete the certification process, you will be added to the statewide recovery support network where you can obtain training, education, and help connecting the people you serve to resources they need. 

Want to be a light in the darkness of substance abuse? Interested in reaching out to your faith-based community? Join our State network! Start by filling out a brief application.


A toolkit designed to equip, connect, and empower faith-based organizations that wish to serve people who are struggling with addiction.

The Faith-Based Community Coordinators serve as the point of contact for the faith community, for establishing new recovery programs in congregations, and providing educational presentations.  Click the link for more details and contact information.

Lifeliners are a group of peers who are in longterm recovery, whose primary responsibility is to build capacity in the community for those who struggle with addiction.

Social support is vital on your road to recovery. Several options are available.


Emotional Fitness Centers offer no cost mental health and substance abuse screenings.


This Virtual Information Portal (VIP) is a resource for faith and community leaders who are interested in learning more about opportunities to serve their neighbors who are facing behavioral health challenges.