Substance Misuse Efforts and Resources


Indya Kincannon
[email protected]
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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All4Knox Strategic Plan Released Online, Includes Opportunity to Get Involved
All4Knox is a joint City of Knoxville / Knox County initiative that was created with a vision to decrease the impact of substance misuse in Knox County and to create community-level change through a coordinated response. The goals of the strategic plan include: Reduce stigma around substance misuse, increase coordinated efforts and information sharing, a reduction in overdoses and a greater use of available resources in our community.

Members of the community can sign up to be a part of the solution by joining an Implementation Team that will put the Strategic Plan into action. The six teams are as follows: Prevention and Education (Stigma), Standardization of Practice, Access to Treatment, Housing, Judicial Diversion and Recovery Support.

Learn more at


All4KnoxThe All4Knox Mayors' Community Summit on August 2, 2019 brought together community leaders around issues of substance misuse, with a focus on the opioid crisis.

The goal of the Summit was to kick off a community wide strategic plan to reduce substance misuse and its impact on individuals, families and our community.

For more information about the day's events see a recent City blog post and for more details on the strategic planning effort, visit All4Knox.


The University of Tennessee held a statewide Summit for Opioid Addiction and Response (SOAR) on August 1-2, 2019 that brought together local, state and federal resources to discuss opioid addiction. For more information on the speakers and presentations, visit SOAR.


KFD logoKPD logoThe City of Knoxville’s first responders, the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) and the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) are on the front lines with issues of substance misuse.

In regard to the opioid crisis, both organizations carry and administer naloxone in overdose calls. Both KFD and KPD contribute data to the Naloxone Community Collaborative and participate with the Harm Reduction Coalition, which are convened by the Metro Drug Coalition.

KFD paramedics have been carrying naloxone for many years but began to see a significant increase in overdoses and the administration of naloxone in 2013. In 2015, the KPD was the first law enforcement agency in Tennessee to implement a program for officers to administer naloxone. 

In 2018, KFD and KPD saved over 500 lives by administering naloxone. In 2018, KFD responded to 737 overdose calls and administered naloxone 492 times. In the same year, KPD administered naloxone 51 times.

KPD provides support for families that have lost loved ones to fatal overdoses through the Drug Overdose Support Group.  This group meets once a month in the City Court Room located at the Knoxville Police Department Safety Building at 800 Howard Baker Jr. Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37915.

In addition, KPD is a member of the Drug Related Death Task Force. The Drug Related Death Task Force is a multi-agency investigation and prosecution team that examines overdoses that occur in this jurisdiction as a means to combat the opiate epidemic.


Mayor RogeroMayor Madeline Rogero led a community team as part of the National League of Cities (NLC) Mayors’ Institute on Opioids, a competitive program from May 2018 to April 2019, along with five other cities from across the U.S. that are grappling with the impact opioid misuse.

The Knoxville team was made up of Metro Drug Coalition Executive Director Karen Pershing, Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan, Police Chief Eve Thomas, and state Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Marie Williams.

The NLC Mayors’ Institute provided technical assistance from nationally-recognized experts, the opportunity to hear from other cities, and participate in federal advocacy efforts around opioid issues. Read more about the NLC Mayors’ Institute December 2018 gathering in Nashville and the participating cities here.

Mayor Rogero traveled to Washington, D.C. in October 2018 to provide a NLC Congressional briefing with other mayors and met with Senator Lamar Alexander and other members and staff of the U.S. Senate. Read more about that effort here and view the video from the visit here.


Community Partners
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is joined by members of the Tennessee General Assembly, leadership of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Helen Ross McNabb Center, United Health Care's United Health Foundation, Mayor Madeline Rogero and Tennessee Commissioner for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Marie Williams for an announcement of a $1.05 million grant to support access to treatment. July 10, 2019

Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) is one of several recipients of funding from the City of Knoxville and is the community nonprofit which convenes organizations around the many issues related to substance misuse. City staff serve on the Board of Directors for MDC and participate in several of the coalitions including: Naloxone Community Collaborative, Harm Reduction Coalition, Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, and more.

Helen Ross McNabb Center operates the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center (BHUCC).  The BHUCC opened in March 2018 and diverts adults from jail and the criminal justice system who could be appropriately served in the community in lieu of incarceration. The target population is non-violent offenders with mental health and/or substance use health conditions.

In July 2019, Helen Ross McNabb Center and the University of Tennessee Medical Center announced a new program, funded by a three year grant, totaling $1.05 million, from the Unitied Health Foundation. The program will provide a staff and resources to connect individuals that have survived overdoses with treatment opportunities.

Positively Living offers a Syringe Services Program. Syringe Services Programs were authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017. In Knoxville and Knox County, Positively Living provides outreach and mobile syringe services programs. For more information on locations and hours, call 865-208-7356.


Addiction Problem?
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Information and Referrals
Contact the TN Redline


Knox County Regional Forensic Center Drug Related Death Report 2017 for Knox and Anderson Counties (2017) [PDF]

Knox County Naloxone Deployment by First Responders (2017) [PDF]
Knox County Naloxone Deployment by First Responders (2018) [PDF]

Tennessee Department of Health, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), Tennessee and County (updated weekly; monthly and annual reports available)

Tennessee Department of Health Data Dashboard, Tennessee, Region and County


For more information, contact Fiona McAnally at 865-215-3710 or [email protected].