Tennessee Department of Health to launch hotline to report suspected opioid abuse

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Tennessee’s Department of Health will soon have a hotline to report suspected opioid abuse.

News4 has been telling you how Governor Bill Haslam has made a big effort to fight the opioid epidemic in the state with his TN Together initiative.

Opioid abuse can impact anyone. Evan Radtke remembers being introduced to Oxycontin in college.

“I think a friend asked me three times and the third time I was like ‘alright, I’ll try it.’ from then, I got pretty hooked on it pretty quick,” Radtke said.

He’s been sober for almost five years. Radtke now works as a treatment specialist for Addiction Campuses in Nashville.

“We’re that family friend that they can rely on to say this is what we’re going to help you do,” Radtke said.

law that goes into effect on January 1 provides another resource.

It creates a toll-free hotline to report suspected opioid abuse to Tennessee’s Department of Health.

Those reports will be sent to the necessary health-related board or law enforcement agency and it protects those who report the information.

“We want people breathing and alive so that we can help them and I think the state of Tennessee is doing a good job of trying to make that happen,” Brian Sullivan with Addiction Campuses said.

With new laws like this, Sullivan hopes it creates a dialogue for state lawmakers as they return to session.

Sullivan and Radtke agree steps are being taken in the right direction to curb opioid addiction.

“People like me that can build drug tolerance very quickly, it’s going to put a stop or at least a barrier to get what I think I need,” Radtke said.

Another part of the new law says any place that prescribes, dispenses, or handles opioids will have a sign that lists the number to that hotline.

Several resources are available that you can contact right now.

Addiction Campuses: 1-888-614-2251 or addictioncampuses.com

The Tennessee REDLINE: 1-800-889-9789 or www.taadas.org/our-programs-and-services/redline

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