It’s been a busy start to 2018 for ASAP of Anderson. In late January, Main Street Baptist Church in Clinton hosted a Faith Forum night to educate their congregation and others about the role of the faith community in preventing substance misuse and supporting recovery. Dr. Monty Burks with the TN Faith Initiative talked about the importance of the faith community in recovery and his own experience receiving love and hope from a congregation. Participants also watched a video from Dr. Stephen Lloyd, former medical director, about the physiological pathways in the brain and how they a ect addiction and recovery. Jason Goodman with Project Lifeline talked about local resources that are available to people in recovery, as well as gaps where more help is needed. The night was closed out with a call to action, a call for the congregation and community to become actively engaged in helping people during their journey from misuse to treatment and recovery. Main Street plans to answer the call.
In February, ASAP partnered with Anderson County EMS to host a showing of the film Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict at Clinton Middle School. Over 50 community members participated in the screening and panel discussion that took place after the showing. Neil Morgenstern with the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (AHITDA) shared information about what opioids are and how they affect the brain as well as the consequences and evolution of first use to addiction. Panel members included representatives from ASAP, Anderson County EMS, Anderson County Schools, Clinton Police Department, Clinton Fire Department, and Ridgeview Medical Center.
In other exciting news, ASAP recently supported multiple Narcan trainings in Anderson County. County Commissioners and general public received training and free Narcan kits at the February Commission meeting. United Way of Anderson also gave a training for community members, and ASAP presented to the Anderson County School Board who adopted a new naloxone policy for their system. Narcan will become available at each school. Narcan trainings were also held after the Chasing the Dragon and Faith Forum events. Activities to increase access to Narcan in the community continue with the support of our partners and volunteers.
ASAP has always strived to work closely with the healthcare community. Recently, we collaborated with Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition and Sevier County CARES to offer Continuing Medical Education trainings in Oak Ridge and Sevierville. Dr. Don Teater, MD, MPH presented “Opioid Addiction: Improving Patient Outcomes” to over 125 physicians and other healthcare providers on March 6th and 7th. Participants were very engaged in the training and ASAP is hoping to facilitate additional CME trainings and activities to engage providers in preventing opioid misuse.