Partner with Above the Influence for Resources and Materials

Above the Influence is a part of the non-profit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and their goal is to make teens aware of the influences around them along with the impact those influences have over their decisions and consequently their lives. They operate under the belief that the more aware you are of the influences around you, the better prepared you will be to face them.
The website reads,“We’re not telling you how to live your life, but we are giving you another perspective and the latest facts. You need to make your own smart decisions.”
They work with partners at three levels: community, strategic and corporate sponsors. Community partners equip schools and youth-serving organizations across the country with materials and resources to help teens stay Above the Influence. Strategic partners offer unique opportunities to engage youth. Corporate Sponsors provide funding to help Above the Influence to continue offering their program in teen drug abuse prevention.
How can I do that?Contact Above the Influence through their website to see which partnership is right for your organization and to get started making a difference in the lives of teens and youth.

Join a Prevention Coalition

In communities across Tennessee, prevention coalitions are working to reduce dependence on harmful and potentially lethal substances, in attempt to stop opioid overdose.
These coalitions are made up of people who care about their communities and are working to promote health and wellness.
Here are some ways coalitions benefit Tennessee communities:
Conduct community-based drug take-back events
Work to standardize penalties for alcohol and drug offenders
Education for individuals handling alcoholic beverage transactions
Monitor current smoke-free ordinances to encourage enforcement
Post anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-smoking billboards in the community
Offer a reward for information on illegal drug manufacturing
Engage youth to participate in drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free efforts.

How can I get involeved?1. Check out the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Service’s website to learn more.
2. Click the link titled “Connect with an Anti-Drug Coalition in Your Area” to view an updated spreadsheet of coalitions and contacts
3. Support or join a coaltion in your area.

Receive Naloxone Training

In 2015 Tennessee had the 10th highest overdose mortality rate in the nation. Naloxone can reverse a potentially fatal overdose by allowing the person to breathe normally after the opioid medication has slowed their breathing to a dangerous rate. Having access to Naloxone, and having the proper training to use it, could save a life.

How can I do that?
Visit the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services website to learn more about Naloxone and opioid education.
View the Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist (ROPS) Map to find contact information for your region.
Contact the specialist in your region to schedule an opioid education and naloxone training.
For general information, self-assessment, Good Samaritian law information, and additional resources visit the TN Depatment of Health website listed below.

Participate in Count it! Lock it! Drop it! Program

Count It! Lock It! Drop It!™ (CLD) is a community initiative supported by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. CLD empowers and educates communities about prevention practices by properly counting, locking or disposing of prescription medications.
According to the Count it! Lock it! Drop it! website, 64 percent of Tennesseans know someone who has become addicted to prescription pain medication. Many people believe that this epidemic does not affect them or that it happens to “other people,” assuming an event will never happen to them or anyone they know; however, data shows the main source of prescription pain pills are friends and relatives.
Protect your loved ones by purchasing lock boxes to securely store medications. If not used properly, prescription drugs can be as harmful and dangerous as illicit drugs. If prescriptions not properly stored (and locked), anyone can access them. Children can mistake pills for candy or teens wanting to ‘experiment’ could easily obtain them for use. This also creates the opportunity for your household to be targeted by anyone who has knowledge that the prescription is in your house.
How can I do that?Go to the Count it! Lock it! Drop it! website and…1. Lock up your prescriptions and store them where others would not think to look2. Count your pills every two weeks. Download this form to help you keep track of your medications.3. Check with your local coalition to see if a lock box is available to you for no charge. You can also purchase lock boxes at local grocery stores and pharmacies.4. Drop off any unused or expired medications in designated drop boxes located in participating law enforcement offices or pharmacies. Find a drop box near you.

Help Pregnant Women Struggling with Addiction

Pregnant women with substance use disorder run the risk of their babies being born drug-dependent.
Babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) experience withdrawal symptoms after birth and usually require hospitalization, intensive care and medication(s) for several weeks to keep them comfortable and safe during the withdrawal process.

Let your loved one know that you are supportive by encouraging her to seek treatment. Offer to provide assistance in finding resources.
Check out the resources below to see what action steps to take next depending upon where your family member is in the process.

Monitor Pending Legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly

As a concerned citizen, you want to educate yourself on what legislative solutions are being proposed on the topic of opioids or other controlled substances and how they will affect your local communities. You want to know what your State Senator and State Representative are doing to address these problems.
The Tennessee General Assembly has a tool that allows you to create an account and search, follow, or  get updates on bills that you find interesting. To help your search, bills can be narrowed down  based on the legislative sponsor, key term(s) or subject.
How can I do that?1. Go to the Tennessee General Assembly’s website2. Click on the “My Bills” tool,3. Create an account 4. Add bills to your list5. Track the bills progress as they proceed through the General Assembly

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: Monty.Burks@tn.gov
Visit the Faith-Based Initiatives home page to learn more about other ways to get involved.
Browse the links listed below for more information.

Learn the Warning Signs of Substance Misuse

Prescription drug misuse symptoms can vary depending on the classification (type) of drug being used.
The three most commonly misused types of prescription drugs are: opioids, stimulants and anti-anxiety medications/sedatives.
It is important that you know the signs, so that you can better recognize when someone you love has a problem. Early intervention can save their life and potentially keep them from getting a criminal record. Persons struggling with opioid addiction span all races, sex, gender, age and socioeconomic backgrounds. Even though some are better at hiding their addictions than others, they might share some of the same warning signs.
How can I do that?
Visit the Mayo Clinic’s website to see what specific signs they have listed.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health’s website is an excellent resource as well when educating yourself on what to look for regarding substance misuse.

These resources can better prepare you to talk to your family about addiction and substance abuse.