NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is adding staff to an overdose prevention program that it credits with saving at least 2,000 lives.
The department says it recently increased the number of regional overdose prevention specialists from 13 to 20. These specialists educate the public and first responders on substance use disorder, opioid overdose and how to use naloxone. That's an antidote to opioid overdose.
Since 2017, Tennessee overdose prevention specialists have distributed 35,000 units of naloxone across the state.
Commissioner Marie Williams says in a news release that when people are saved from overdosing "we can truly give them a second chance at seeing the hope that lies ahead in recovery from addiction."