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Tennessee’s opioid epidemic: Vanderbilt, TDOT team up for easier access to treatment

Posted at 6:59 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 08:00:19-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Vanderbilt researcher and the Tennessee Department of Transportation are teaming up to help fight the opioid epidemic in the Volunteer State. They want to find better ways to give addicts transportation to treatment options.

TDOT is funding the new 18-month project to analyze transportation investment opportunities to help fight the opioid epidemic across the state. The project will be led by Vanderbilt University researcher Janey Camp.

Camp and her team will use statewide data to model a variety of scenarios that show how people can get to treatment facilities with improved transit options. The researchers will look a variety of options, like public transit and on-demand services such as ridesharing and infrastructure.

The research team hopes this new transportation plan they come up with will also be used to help people in other states.

Currently, Tennessee has the third-highest opioid prescription rate in the nation, and overdose deaths involving opioids in the state have been rising for more than a decade.