TN commits $500,000 for more anti-drug coalitions following overdose deaths

Of 95 counties in TN, 61 have these coalitions.
Posted at 9:03 AM, Dec 08, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Prevention Alliance of Tennessee says they plan to use this money to form at least eight more new anti-drug coalitions in the state.

Of the 95 counties in Tennessee, 61 have these coalitions, which offer mental health and addiction services. Each new county will establish a substance use prevention coalition with a primary mission of "preventing and reducing youth substance use. As a result, a prevalence of use of youth substance use will decrease both in those communities and across the state, resulting in lesser negative consequences associated with substance misuse." CEO Stephanie Strutner and coalition leaders shared the data required for this new request with legislators and Governor Bill Lee’s office.

The data showed how Tennesseans continue to struggle as more people die each year from an overdose.

Brian Sullivan is an executive with the Prevention Alliance and says he’s encouraged to see a nonpartisan effort to save thousands from preventable deaths.

“In this very trying and divisive time in our country, I think this sends a message that Tennesseans are willing to work together in times of crisis,” Sullivan said.

Tennessee saw an increase of 50% more deaths linked to an overdose between spring 2020 and 2021. Only four other states had a more drastic change.

The CDC also announced that a record 100,000 died of an overdose in the U.S. during the same time period. Sullivan says it’s for that reason they’re now asking all Tennessee counties without an anti-drug coalition to sign up. That way they can create their own with the funding now made available.

“For us, this is a glimmer of hope and what do we have if we don’t have hope? Hope is so important and necessary in the human experience,” Sullivan said.

Applications are due December 17 by midnight. Funding will be available for January-June 2021 but may continue pending a decision from legislators.

Questions and applications can be sent to Prevention Alliance of Tennessee CEO Stephanie Strutner at:

Statutory eligibility requirements:

1. County must establish a coalition with a mission focused on primary substance use prevention.
2. County applying for funding must not have a coalition funded by the State of Tennessee or federal government.
3. County must directly receive funding OR identify a nonprofit fiscal agent to oversee financial operations.

Program requirements:

1. Utilize Coalition Development Toolkit provided by Prevention Alliance of Tennessee to methodically establish local coalition which was developed utilizing an evidence-based process.
2. Follow Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) evidence-based Strategic Prevention Framework process.
3. Engage in training and professional development to build skills and empower local stakeholders to prioritize prevention in an evidence-based approach.
4. Coalition stakeholders will begin accumulating hours to work toward achieving certification through IC&RC as a Certified Prevention Specialist.
5. Utilize mentors and coaches experienced in coalition development and operations provided through the project.
6. Identify sustainable solutions to extend coalition work beyond the project period.

Required application components:

Application is limited to 5 pages, Calibri font, 12 point with one-inch margins.

1. Contact information
a. Name of person submitting application
b. Fiscal entity
c. EIN
d. DUNS Number
e. Phone number
f. Email
g. Mailing address

2. Community profile

a. The Community Profile must include the following:
i. Target population
ii. Demographic profile
iii. School systems
iv. Law enforcement jurisdictions
v. Government municipalities within the county

3. Project narrative

a. The Project Narrative must include the following:
i. Plan to recruit members from the 12 sectors (youth, parents, business, media, school, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, religious or fraternal organizations, civic or volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, state or local agencies, and other local organizations)
ii. Applicant’s capacity to implement the approach
iii. Implementation Timeline

4. Anticipated 6-month budget

a. Describe how you would allocate a 6-month budget (anticipated award approximately $35,000 - $45,000)