Who We Are
Sarah Nechuta, PhD
Director of Population Analytics
Ben Tyndall, PhD
Sutapa Mukhopadhyay, PhD
Michael Rickles, PhD
Zoe Durand, MPH
If you or someone you know is in need of referral services have them call the Tennessee REDLINE.
The Tennessee REDLINE (1-800-889-9789) is a toll-free information and referral line coordinated by the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services (TAADAS) and funded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). The purpose of the TN REDLINE is to provide accurate, up-to-date alcohol, drug, gambling problems, and other addiction information and referrals to all citizens of Tennessee at their request. The REDLINE provides referrals for Co-Occurring Alcohol & Drug disorders that arise along with Mental Health disorders.
Information specialists are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions and provide information and referrals on alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and gambling. https://www.taadas.org/our-programs-and-services/redline
Prevention for States
The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States is a program helps states combat the ongoing prescription drug overdose epidemic. The purpose of Prevention for States is to provide state health departments with resources and support needed to advance interventions for preventing prescription drug overdoses.
29 states, including Tennessee are now funded through this mechanism to 1) maximize their prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs); 2) work directly with communities and health systems or insurers to ensure that evidence-based interventions are implemented; 3) conduct policy evaluations to learn more about what works; and 4) conduct special, rapid response projects that are innovative in addressing emerging crises and opportunities.
Tennessee’s PfS team has a strong focus on data driven solutions, including creating an integrated data system that includes prescribing data as well as nonfatal and fatal overdose data and allows for county level dashboards and other data visualizations. This system will allow us to better understand the lifecycle of dependence and addiction in Tennesseans, analyze data at community levels to help communities with their response to the epidemic, find ways to intervene when it is most important before bad outcomes occur, and evaluate the many approaches that Tennessee is taking to combat the epidemic. The epidemiologic studies that are being done by the PfS team are HERE and the data dashboards can be found HERE.
Harold “Hal” Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Data-Driven Responses to Prescription Drug Abuse
The Tennessee Department of Health was awarded the Harold “Hal” Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Data-Driven Responses to Prescription Drug Abuse Grant in September 2016 by the Office of Justice Programs under the US Department of Justice. The primary purpose of the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) is to enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies and public health officials to work together to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data and other scheduled chemical products through a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. Through this grant the Tennessee Department of Health is enhancing the existing collaboration between the health department (Tennessee Department of Health), law enforcement (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation [TBI]) and substance abuse services (Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services [TDMHSAS]) to better understand the progression from drug use to drug abuse to drug addiction in the state of Tennessee. This grant will also give the team the ability to pool resources and identify abuse trends and “hot spots” of activity within the state. By utilizing data sources and sharing key data from all three organizations, and collaborating with community coalitions, we will be able to target our efforts to areas of need with a focused rapid response team. This team will be able to connect with individuals who are at risk of diverting prescription drugs or transitioning to illicit drugs and recommend or deliver treatment. With the information provided to the team they will be able to focus their efforts on where interventions are most necessary.
Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD)
In accordance with the Controlled Substance Monitoring Act of 2002, the Tennessee Department of Health established a database to monitor the dispensing of Schedule II, III, IV & V controlled substances. Data collection began for all dispensers on December 1, 2006. The Prescription Safety Act of 2012 enhances the monitoring capabilities of the database. The Board of Pharmacy and the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD) Committee establish, administer, maintain and direct the functioning of the database in accordance with these statutes.
You will find additional information regarding the CSMD by following this link https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/csmd-board/csmd-board/about.html
- What is an opioid?
Opioids are a broad range of natural and manufactured (synthetic) drugs that are commonly used for pain relief.
- What kind of drugs are opioids?
Opiods are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others.
- What form(s) do opioids come in?
Opioids come in tablets, capsules or liquid.
- What are three main groups of opioid drugs:
Naturally occurring: These are made from the liquid harvested from the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy flower. Examples include codeine and morphine.
Semi-synthetic: These are made by modifying the chemical structure of a naturally occurring opioid. Examples include heroin and oxycodone.
Synthetic: These compounds are manufactured chemicals. Examples include meperidine and methadone.
- What are some common opioid?
6. How are opioid medications regulated?
Opioids are regulated at both federal and state levels. You can find more detailed information at these locations: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/aboutfda/centersoffices/officeofmedicalproductsandtobacco/cder/ucm550079.pdf
7. What should I do with leftover/unwanted prescription pills?
FDA supports the responsible disposal of medicines from the home. Almost all medicines can be safely disposed of by using medicine take-back programs or using U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)-authorized collectors. When these options are not available, consumers may also dispose of unneeded medicine in their household trash
Unwanted Pharmaceutical Take Back Map for TN: http://tdeconline.tn.gov/rxtakeback/
Medicines recommended for flushing down the toilet: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/UCM337803.pdf
8. What are the signs of drug abuse?
Changes in behavior: changes in sleeping and eating habits, up-and-down moods, sneaky behavior, relationships that are getting worse
Physical signs of abuse/dependence: red eyes, sore throat, and a dry cough; needle marks on the arm of other area of body; small ‘pinpoint’ pupils in the eyes; losing weight without trying; hallucinations.
9. Opioid overdose
Due to their effect on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can cause respiratory depression and death. An opioid overdose can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms referred to as the “opioid overdose triad”. The symptoms of the triad are:
- pinpoint pupils
- respiratory depression
10. How can I avoid opioid overdose?
Take medicine only if it has been prescribed to you by your doctor. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than instructed. Call a doctor if your pain gets worse. Never mix pain medicines with alcohol, sleeping pills, or any illicit substances. Store your medicine in a safe place where children or pets can’t reach it. Learn the signs of overdose and how to use naloxone to keep it from becoming fatal. Teach your family and friends how to respond to an overdose. Dispose of unused medicine properly.
11. Drug Overdose
A drug overdose is the accidental or intentional use of a drug or medicine in an amount that is higher than is normally used.
12. What is Naloxone?
The drug naloxone is sometimes called a “save shot” or a “rescue shot” due to its ability to bring someone back from an overdose. Brand names for naloxone are Narcan and Evzio.