'Opioids: Overcoming a Crisis' - The conversation continues
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that roughly 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Today, more than 21 million Americans are struggling with addiction and nearly one in three people know someone who is struggling. Many do not seek treatment.
The CDC reports the rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids has been on the rise since 1999 and opioids kill more people each year than traffic accidents.
Read the individual stories that are a part of this project:
Our panel of six included TBI Special Agent Tommy Farmer, Hamilton County
Commissioner Randy Fairbanks, Chattanooga City Councilwoman Dr. Carol Berz, Chattanooga Police Lt. Jason Lewis, Hamilton County Health Department educator Carleena Angwin, and Tennessee Senator Todd Gardenhire.
Several agencies also participated in the discussion including the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Chattanooga Police Department, Cleveland Police Department, Cadas Rehab, Teen Challenge, the Georgia Health Department, Circuit Court Judge Justin Angel, and more.
Lawmakers like Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tell us tackling this epidemic begins with action.
"You're right in that we have a crisis. It's a significant health challenge that we have and it's one of the reasons that we put additional funding in what we call our health care safety net, this year." Governor Bill Lee said.
"Opioids: Overcoming a Crisis" is aimed at raising awareness and finding solutions. Through months of preparation, our team took the time to research and tell several stories about addiction, the stigma surrounding opioids, life-saving tools, and how to get help.