Skip to Main Content

Governor Haslam, Commissioner Varney to Announce Prescription Drug Plan

Thursday, May 29, 2014 | 07:16am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and TDMHSAS Commissioner E. Douglas Varney will unveil a plan to tackle the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3, in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Capitol. Members of the news media and the public are invited to attend.

Prescription drug abuse is a pervasive, multi-dimensional issue impacting Tennessee individuals, families, and communities. Of the 4,850,000 adults in Tennessee, it is estimated that nearly 5 percent (about 221,000) have used pain relievers, also known as prescription opioids, in the past year for non-medical purposes; of those, it is estimated that 69,100 are addicted to prescription opioids and require treatment for prescription opioid abuse.

TDMHSAS collaborated with several state agencies to develop a comprehensive, multi-year strategic plan to prevent and treat prescription drug abuse in Tennessee.

“The abuse of prescription drugs, specifically opioids, is an epidemic in Tennessee, with disastrous and severe consequences to Tennesseans of every age,” Varney said. “Things such as overdose deaths, emergency department visits, hospital costs, children in state custody, and people incarcerated for drug-related crimes can all be prevented and/or treated if we all work together and fight this deadly epidemic.”

WHO:            Governor Haslam, Commissioner Varney, Commissioner John Dreyzehner of the Department of Health, Commissioner Bill Gibbons of the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Director Mark Gwyn of the TBI, and Davidson Criminal Court Judge Seth W. Norman

WHAT:           Official unveiling of “Prescription for Success: Statewide Strategies to Prevent and Treat the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic in Tennessee

WHEN:           11 a.m. (Central Time) on Tuesday, June 3

WHERE:          Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Capitol, Nashville

Media Advisories | Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services | Press Releases