Become a Certified Faith-Based Community Organization

Faith-based organizations can play a key role in providing a person who struggles with addiction with motivation to get clean and support while going through the process of recovery.
An active and engaged faith-based community has proven to have a positive impact on a person’s recovery. The TN Department of Mental Health has a formal certification program available to organizations who want to reach out to those in their community in the grips of substance misuse disorder. The organization’s leadership will be trained in areas such as: how to better provide spiritual support, outreach to the community, sharing recovery information and how to host a recovery support groups. Organizations that successfully complete the certification process are added to the statewide recovery support network.
Grant funding is available to faith-based initiatives through the government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
How can I do that?Download and fill out the TN Department of Mental Health’s Faith Based Questionnaire and send it to:
Monty BurksDirector of Special Projects                                                                                           Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse ServicesPhone: (615) 770-1783Email:
Visit the Faith-Based Initiatives home page to learn more about other ways to get involved.
Browse the links listed below for more information.

Start a SADD Club (Middle School and High School)

With its expansion of focus to include destructive decisions (substance abuse, violence, suicide, negative body image, etc.), SADD creates, equips and sustains a network of student-run chapters focused on peer-to-peer, evidence based education. They accomplish this through prevention programs and practices which are updated based on current scientific research and by sharing youth voices and perspectives on issues and laws or policies that involve the education, culture, health, safety and treatment of youth. SADD is an inclusive and respectful organization that fosters a sense of belonging. They welcome all youth seeking support for healthy development, and encourage active youth participation and leadership. Youth voices are sought out, strengthened, shared, and affirmed. SADD believe young people’s health and safety is improved through positive peer-to-peer interactions, healthy relationships with caring adults, and collaboration with other organizations that support youth.
How can I do that?1. Visit the SADD website to see what you will need in order to complete the SADD Chapter Registration Form.  2. Download the “Chapter Power Start Up Kit” to assist you in developing the program at your school or within your community.
Deadline:Chapters must register at the beginning of each school year. Annual Registration DEADLINE: August 1 – July 30

Host an Addiction Seminar, Community Focused Opioid Summit, or Workshop

Many people know little about the opioid epidemic or the science of addiction. One way to increase general awareness within a community is to host a seminar on the topic. It can be as detailed as a workshop tailored for first responders or as relaxed as a PowerPoint presentation viewed at a town hall meeting.

How can I do that?
1. Contact your local anti- drug coalition or the Tennessee Department of Mental Health for resources on lectures, programs, speakers and other materials.
2. Decide on a date for the event.
3. Choose a location to hold your seminar and reserve the space.
4. Tell everyone! Invite your community to attend your seminar(s), but be sure to let them know any other important instructions (i.e. space is limited, any costs involved, registration information).

Build Sober Dorms on College Campuses (College)

Students recovering from addictive disorders should be able to pursue academic, personal, and professional goals to enhance their quality of life, just like any other college student. However, they face many temptations that could not only delay their graduation date, but jeopardize their recovery and threaten their lives. This is where sober dorms come in. The idea is to create a space that students can call their own and is on-campus, but does not sacrifice their recovery.
Sober dorms afford the same amenities (offices, meeting rooms, kitchen, computer lab, designated study areas, and a lounge for tv and games) of any other dorm on campus, and the cost is around the same amount too. Dorms are anonymous to protect students’ privacy, and great emphasis is placed on maintaining supportive meaningful relationships. While peer accountability is important, recovery counselors are on staff and available to advise and mentor students. They are not recovery counselors though, and only intervene in situations when necessary. Participation in recovery focused extracurricular activities is highly encouraged, but not obligated. Collegiate recovery programs offer retreats, academic courses in recovery, leadership workshops, health and wellness activities, movie nights, sober tailgating, recovery conferences, and family weekends.
The dormitories are solely for students in recovery. Prospective students must demonstrate their commitment to their recovery prior to acceptance. They will have been sober anywhere between 90 days and six months. Some dorms require students interview with recovery center counselors and current residents. Once accepted into a dorm (and its recovery program), students adhere to guidelines that can range from a signed contract to mandatory attendance at two 12-step meetings/ week. The use of drugs or alcohol, enabling someone else to use, or breaking another student’s confidentiality is strictly prohibited and grounds for dismissal.
How can I do that?1. Do your homework! Consider what questions a student in recovery might ask about your campus and the sober dorm you want to create. 2. Check out sites like the Association of Recovery in Higher Education or Transforming Youth Recovery for specific steps on how to create a program on campus.3. Do those steps.

Participate in Monitoring the Future (Middle School and High School)

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project studies the changing beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of young people in the United States.
This study focuses on youth’s diverse opinions on issues such as government, politics, alcohol, drug use, gender roles and protection of the environment. Students are presented with the same set of questions over a period of years to see how answers change over time. Results of the study are used to monitor trends in substance abuse among adolescents and young adults and are used routinely in the White House Strategy on Drug Abuse.

Four Types of Change1. Particular years reflected across age groups (secular trends or “period effects”).2. Developmental (“age effects”).3. Consistent differences among class cohorts through the life cycle (“cohort effects”)4. Types of environments (high school, college, employment)

Prior to the administration of the survey, students in grades eight, ten and twelve are given flyers explaining the study and their parents are informed about the study through a letter sent home with their student. This provides them a method of declining their child’s participation before the survey is administered.
The survey is conducted by the local Institute for Social Research representatives and their assistants. The questionnaires are administered during a normal class period whenever possible. A follow-up survey is then mailed to participants with a return, self-addressed stamped envelope and a small monetary gift from the University of Michigan.
The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project, also known as the National High School Senior Survey, survey has been conducted with the help of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Surveys have been carried every year since 1975, and today approximately 50,000 students in 420 schools participate.

How can I do that?Contact Monitoring the Future to get information about how your school and/or your classroom can participate.

Participate in Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education (Professional Schools)

Part of the TN Together Plan, the Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education will develop competencies for Tennessee’s medical educational institutions to address proper treatment for pain, safe and effective prescribing practices, and proper diagnoses and treatment for individuals abusing or misusing controlled substances.
 This 19-member commission is made up of experts from state, public, and private medical educational institutions, the Tennessee Department of Health, a broad group of professional associations, and licensed health care practitioners.
How can I do that?Universities and professional schools can adopt the new standards upon their completion.

Host A Film Screening

Events such as films screenings are a great way to educated and motivate change within a community. Provide a venue and invite educators, parents, families and other concerned community members. Advertise with flyers and or social media. Conduct a reflection period after the viewing to discuss and process.

Participate in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) *Dates vary and can be found on the website link listed below.
2020 dates- March 30th- April 5th
This week is spent linking students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends.
How to get involved in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
Form your team
Choose your topics
Register your event Order your free educational materials
Promote your event

Participate in National Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day

National Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day is a live online chat held between high school students and National Institute on Drug Abuse scientists.
This event is held annually during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
During the chat students are able to ask questions about drugs and drug misuse. How to help friends and family members as well as what causes addiction are frequently asked during this time.

Previous Chat Day transcripts can be viewed on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Once registered, your school will receive a single access code that all students can use to login and ask questions during the chat.
Questions can be asked any time between 8 a.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST. A transcript will be posted 2 weeks after Chat Day for students to refer back to.
All your school needs to participate is a computer and internet connection. Space is limited to 100 schools!
Check the site to see when the next Chat Day is!