Health Department Holds Discussion on Opioid Abuse

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The opioid epidemic has stretched its deadly tentacles into every aspect of our society.

The Hamilton County Health Department hosted a presentation on opioid abuse in Tennessee this morning. It was held inside of their building on Third Street.

The guest speakers were T-B-I Special Agent Tommy Farmer and Dr. Stephen Loyd of the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council. They discussed the current state of the opioid epidemic and Dr. Loyd detailed his battle to overcome his own personal battle with opioid use.

Loyd told the story of one former patient who died of an overdose, driving home the point there’s thousand of stories behind the statistics of opioid abuse. He said, “There’s a horrible quote out there, “One death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic. Anytime I go anywhere, it’s going to be about patients, and that’s why I used the stories that I use today. You saw the people who stood up at the end of this thing. That’s not a number on a graph. That’s somebody’s oldest son, somebody’s oldest daughter, and that’s what we can’t lose focus of. We can go out here and look at “We’re spending this much money here.” And that, but we can’t lose focus of the people suffering and the families being torn apart. And that’s why I put a face on it every time.”

Also of discussion was the 26 billion dollar settlement with four major opioid companies that will give Tennessee over 6-hundred million dollars to fight the opioid epidemic. These funds are planned to be used to fight the epidemic. The Tennessee Abatement Council continues to discuss further ways to fight the epidemic.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News