Advertise a Drug Takeback Day

Most people do not remember to dispose of their unused medications, which creates an opportunity for substance misuse. Often, patients are not told how to dispose of medication when they no longer need them, so many prescription medications end up being flushed down the toilet or thrown away in the trash. These disposal methods pollute the environment. Because of these two things, important to create awareness about the dangers of keeping unused prescriptions and how to properly dispose of them on a specific day in a convenient location nearby.
When creating a marketing plan for your event, consider the common marketing rule that a person needs to see an advertisement at least seven times before they will remember it. Use various forms of media for your ad, such as pamphlets, posters, billboards and social media posts. Try to place your ads in high traffic areas with strong visibility to reach as many people as possible. Target your advertising, when you can, by placing ads in places like doctor’s offices and pharmacies.
Many families and individuals want to prevent substance misuse and dispose of unused medication taking up space, making a Drug Takeback Day a valuable and potentially successful event. According to the Tennessean, the Nashville Drug Takeback day in April 2017 collected 212 pounds of pills and over 150 people brought in their old medications to Nashville pharmacies.

How can I do that?
There are several things you can do to get the word out about your Drug Takeback Day. Here are just a few options. You can do one, or you can do them all! It really is up to you and your community to decide which of these will encourage the most participation.
Option #1. Mention the benefits of participating in your advertisement.
Option #2. Present the successful data (number or participants or amount of drugs collected) of previous events.
Option #3. Include logos/statements from the organizations that will be collecting the unused prescriptions.
Option #4. Advertise any keynote speakers who will be at the event or any organizations that will have booths.
Option #5. Promote fun by including some family-friendly activities at your event.

Take Part in Nar-Anon Family Groups

Nar-Anon Family Groups are meetings for people who have been or who are currently being affected by someone near to them who suffers from a substance abuse disorder. The groups do not teach a person how to help the ones they care about get sober. Instead, the groups focus on helping a person cope with the powerlessness felt in trying to force someone to get sober, and they emphasize how to concentrate on keeping life balanced– whether a loved ones become sober or not. These meetings are important in helping people understand their situations and learn how to cope with the feelings caused by their loved one’s affliction.
Like members of Nar-Anon Groups, Nar-Anon Family Group members follow a 12-step program designed to achieve a practical, healing spiritual awakening. In this process, members are encouraged to share their stories, read helpful provided materials, and participate in group volunteer service.  All meetings are anonymous, and the groups hope to create a judgement-free environment–one where its members can recover a sense of purpose and self-confidence.
Narateen, a program for teenagers, provides a safe outlet for teenagers to learn coping skills surrounding substance abuse disorder and to share their unique experiences among those in their age group.
How can I do that?For more information, visit the Nar-Anon Family Groups page on Nar-Anon’s website.

Compete for the NIDA Addiction Science Award (High School)

What are Addiction Science Projects? Addiction science fair projects are any science fair project that contributes to the knowledge of addiction and its health consequences. Students educate themselves and fellow classmates on the science behind addiction. They can even compete for awards specific to the topic.
The NIDA Addiction Science Award is given by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the three best addiction science fair projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). First place receives $2500, second place receives $1500 and third place receives $1000. NIDA announces their winners at the Special Awards ceremony during ISEF, and all award recipients are invited to visit NIDA in Bethesda, Maryland.  What makes a project eligible for competition? According to NIDA’s website, projects eligible for a NIDA Science Fair Award must be conducted under the supervision of a science teacher or science mentor deemed qualified by a science teacher. All ISEF rules for experiments apply.
ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. It features more than 1,500 high school students’ independent research.
How can I do that?1. Browse study areas and suggested topics from the NIDA website, and pick one that interests you.2. Seek out a science teacher or science mentor to supervise your work.3. Comply with all ISEF rules re: your experiment and submission/competition guidelines.

Consider Faith Based Counseling Services

Faith support is designed to assist an individual in developing their spirituality as an integral part of their recovery from addiction.
If you know someone struggling with addiction, help them find a Spiritual Counselor who encourages patients to overcome addiction by covering practices and principles such as:

  • establishing a relationship with a higher power
  • identifying a sense of purpose and mission in one’s life
  • achieving serenity and peace of mind
  • utilizing spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and yoga

Faith-based counseling can be performed in a group or individual setting. Most group and individual sessions should be expected to last roughly 60 minutes in duration.

How can I do that?

1. Visit the TN Department of Mental Health’s Recovery Support Services page.

2. Click on the Addiction Recovery Program Providers list to view a list of certified spiritual counselors.

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.

Adopt the Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education Competencies on Your Campus

As part of the TN Together plan, the Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education has developed competencies for Tennessee’s medical education institutions related to pain management. 

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam created the Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education in January 2018 as part of his comprehensive TN Together initiative to address the opioid crisis in Tennessee. The commission is charged with developing 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. Read the press release here, and find the full report here. 

In July 2018, the Commission released a report outlining competencies for current and future curricula so that future prescribers receive instruction and training regarding. The report covered competencies for:

Effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, including alternatives to opioids to manage pain;
The potential risks and effects of using opioids to treat pain, including physical dependency and addiction, and effective discontinuation of opioids;
Proper identification of and treatment for patients demonstrating misuse or abuse of opioids; and
Utilization of the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database.

Adopting Institutions
Austin Peay State University
Baptist College of Health Sciences
Belmont University
Bethel University
Carson-Newman University
Christian Brothers University
East Tennessee State University
King University
Lincoln Memorial University
Lipscomb University
Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
Milligan College
South College
Southern Adventist University
Trevecca Nazarene University
Union University
University of Memphis
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 

Supporting Organizations
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT)
State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC)
Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP)
Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services (TAADAS)
Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA)
Tennessee Board of Dentistry
Tennessee Hospital Association (THA)
Tennessee Men’s Health Network (TMHN)
Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Association (TNPA)
Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA)
Tennessee Pain Society (TPS)
Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA)
Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA)
Tennessee Society of Anesthesiologists (TSA)
Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA)

Host a Recovery Support Group

Support groups play a fundamental role on the road to recovery. Gathering with others offers encouragement, guidance and accountability Groups can be made up of individuals who are working toward the same 12-step goals, see the same therapy team, or share the same faith.
Who will be involved/ who are group leaders?
Who will be your contact person? Someone individuals can contact if interested in the group.
Are meetings open or closed? Most commonly meetings are open to the community.
Location / Time / Day. Most groups meet in the evening hours.
What will be your official launch date?
Before launching:
You may want to seek additional training.
We recommend you practice at least one session.
Advertise your group! You can do this through church and community bulletin boards or social media.
After official launch
Debrief and consider pros and cons