opioids | Nashville Public Radio


Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee's 1-year-old law that restricted prescribing of addictive painkillers has had unintended consequences, according to some state lawmakers. They've tweaked some parts of the opioid legislation from 2018, with the changes taking effect July 1.

courtesy VUMC

Nashville's largest hospital is launching a part-time addiction clinic, so overdose victims have somewhere close to go after the emergency room. Vanderbilt University Medical Center's new "bridge clinic" began ramping up Friday.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Agents were already in the field making arrests this week as federal prosecutors announced the indictments of 32 medical professionals in Tennessee and 60 across the Appalachian region. They're each accused of opioid-related crimes. And this time, other government workers were also mobilized in response, looking for desperate patients.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

Some prescription drugs in Tennessee may soon have to be dispensed in a lockable bottle.

Backers of the proposal, including parents of people killed due to opioid overdoses, said it would prevent teens of getting hooked on opioids.

Screenshot of Republican Convention / TN Photo Services

In public appearances and small campaign gatherings, former Governor Phil Bredesen and Congressman Marsha Blackburn have been offering a few competing ideas for dealing with the opioid crisis.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

After months of deliberation, Tennessee is joining five other states and suing a major drug maker for its role in the opioid epidemic.

The suit against Purdue Pharma follows a lengthy investigation by the Tennessee attorney general into several drug companies and distributors.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam presented a limited agenda Monday night, in an unusually reflective and retrospective State of the State speech.

In his final statewide address as governor, Haslam spent most of his time highlighting what he sees as his successes, including low unemployment and an improving education system. But as for new proposals — there weren't very many.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Creating a 500-bed treatment facility for addicted inmates, limiting the duration of new opioid prescriptions to just a few days, and putting more drug enforcement officers on the streets.

Those are some of the ideas Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pitching to combat the opioid crisis  — which despite past efforts, has continued to worsen.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Twenty-five more drug agents.

That's what the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is hoping to add in the coming year to aid in efforts to combat the illegal trade in painkillers —  just one of the ways that the opioid epidemic is reshaping state agencies' spending priorities.

courtesy House Energy and Commerce Committee

Congressman Marsha Blackburn is blaming the Drug Enforcement Administration for not speaking up if legislation she co-sponsored is causing such a problem. An investigation by "60 Minutes" and the Washington Post highlighted her role in a law that made it tougher for the DEA to regulate opioids.