Hamilton County Coalition Receives Tennessee Community CARES Grant

CHATTNOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Coalition is giving back to the community in more ways than one.

The Coalition serves ten counties in southeast Tennessee including Hamilton, Bradley, and Grundy, with specialization in overdose prevention and intervention.

Since the pandemic’s start in March, there have been close to 600 overdoes in Southeast Tennessee, with the TBI reporting 77 percent of those coming from Hamilton County.

For that reason, Communications Manager John Mitchell says drug overdose and the Coronavirus pandemic and inextricably linked.

“With the restrictions, with the uncertainty that comes with the pandemic whether it be people that are, their jobs are affected, their kids are affected, their overall lives are affected. When that stress and that anxiety hits a bunch of people, people deal with it in different ways. And sometimes people try to deal with that stress and anxiety and sometimes that depression with using, you know, illicit substances,” says John Mitchell.

Mitchell says that the Tennessee Community CARES Grant will provide much needed overdose prevention tools like Narcan, while also providing COVID-19 resources on how to stay safe during the pandemic.

“What this grant allows us to do is not only are we able to give you some of the narcane to keep your house safe whereas we’re able to give you, um, these COVID-19 resources that are going to keep you safe in more ways than one. Not only are we keeping your home safe, with the Narcan, we’re also have medication lockboxes and what’s called deterra pouches that you can dispose of drugs safely in your home,” says Mitchell.

With the help of medication like Narcan, the Coalition is hoping to save even more lives.

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