Tennessee Gets Federal Funding To Fight Opioid Use

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 20:13:32-04
Tennessee's fight against opiod abuse got a little easier with the announcement of $1 million in federal grants being given to the state.
Tennessee is the second worst state for opioid use per capita, right behind Alabama. State officials are hoping that raising awareness will help save lives.
Misty Parrish remembered the day she received the call that her son Jeremy Pasrrish had died. 
She anxiously awaited the autopsy results, and ultimately she learned that her 25-year-old died from a lethal dose of Fentanyl in his blood stream.
"It seems like the longer he's gone the worse it is. I don't feel like time eases any pain," said Misty Parrish, Jeremy's mother.
Parrish said Jeremy's friend gave him a Xanax pill that was laced with Fentanyl, and once he fell asleep he never woke up. 
"He just took one to go to sleep and he didn't even take pills. So he lost his life over something he didn't even do or associate himself with," said Parrish.
"A lot of folks have been doctor shopping historically to get their pills. When they're no longer able to do that they'll go out to the street," said Josh DeVine, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The Tennessee Department of Health is anticipating to receive $1.6 million in federal funding. Some of that funding will go to facilities like "The Next Door."
"They could have gotten it perscribed by a phychian... Or a family member has it at home that they could get easy access to it," said Patience Ruffin, Director of Treatment Service, The Next Door.
The goal is to raise awareness of the problem and work with neighboring states to address doctor shopping across state lines. Officials are hoping that this federal funding will stop the problem, and hopefully save another mother from losing her child.