Providing one place where the community can find comprehensive information about efforts to address this epidemic is just one component of All4Knox. The long-term goal is to develop a communitywide strategic plan to reduce non-fatal overdoses and overdose deaths in our community, which we will launch at the Aug. 2 Summit. Following the guidance set forth by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a national substance misuse prevention agency, we will divide the community into sectors to design strategies for each group. These sector strategies will support an overarching, communitywide plan to reverse this epidemic. The sector teams will begin their work at the 2019 Summit. Click here for more information about the 2019 Mayors’ All4Knox Summit, including registration.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, in conjunction with Metro Drug Coalition (MDC), the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and the Knox County Health Department (KCHD), invited more than 60 people to gather at the East Tennessee History Center in October 2018 for a Community Discussion on Substance Misuse. Karen Pershing, MDC executive director, facilitated the meeting and provided an overview of the existing work in this area by her agency and others. Panel discussions with area experts offered opportunities to share information and gain a more detailed understanding of the issues. Panels included three sectors: criminal justice, education/employment and health. Following panel discussions, attendees were split into groups to discuss and inventory additional community efforts and possible actions. Themes and ideas from the table discussions are summarized below.
Criminal Justice System
The 2018 Mayors’ Summit: A Community Discussion on Substance Misuse was a first step toward developing a communitywide strategic plan to reduce non-fatal overdoses and overdose deaths in our community. That said, many agencies and organizations are taking steps now, in addition to helping with the development of a strategic plan, to help address this epidemic.
Below are just a few of the current efforts by Knox County, the City of Knoxville, Knox County Health Department (KCHD), Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) and the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office. Please note, many other organizations are working to address this issue as well, but that work is not captured here. Next steps include:
Several government agencies and health care providers are sharing data to help our community better understand this epidemic. Some of their findings include:
All4Knox is a joint effort of Knox County and the City of Knoxville with facilitation and coordination support from Metro Drug Coalition, the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and Knox County Health Department. Our hope is to bring together our governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities and many others in a coordinated fashion to address the substance misuse epidemic.