Tennessee drug overdose intervention program receives nearly $900,000

A successful program in Sullivan County, Tenn., that works with people who have had an overdose to get them treatment and prevent future overdoses has received nearly $900,000 in new federal funding, according to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance recently awarded the funds to the Sullivan County Overdose Response Team (SCORT) to allow it to continue its work over three years.  SCORT will use the funding to expand its outreach and self-referral capacity.  The team also will expand its followup period with clients to two years.

Since launching in 2018 as a pilot program, 77 percent of clients enrolled in substance use treatment and more than 93 percent avoided another overdose.

“It has been extremely beneficial and has had a huge impact in our county working with the Sullivan County Overdose Response Team,” Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said. “With the collaboration of Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition and law enforcement, we have been able to connect individuals that have overdosed with treatment and resources of rehabilitation to prevent future overdoses. As we continue to expand our resources, I believe we can break the cycle of addiction and set these individuals up for success in their lives.”

SCORT is a collaboration between law enforcement, community behavioral health providers, area agencies, and the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition.