An epidemic: Health care conference to address prescription drug problem in Tennessee

SMITHVILLE – A health care conference scheduled or February will address the “epidemic” of prescription drugs in Tennessee.

Formally titled “The Epidemic is Here – Screening, Prescribing and Safe Treatment Methods in the Age of Addiction,” the event is being presented by the DeKalb County Community Advisory Board, DeKalb Community Hospital and several partnering agencies. It’s scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at the DeKalb Community Complex and will be a training and networking opportunity for medical professionals in the Upper Cumberland region.

The nation is currently facing a large-scale epidemic of prescription misuse, which very often leads to long-term addiction. Death rates from accidental overdoses continue to rise and now beat car crashes as the nation’s leading cause of accidental deaths. The United States uses 85 percent of the world’s opiate supply, while Tennessee ranks among the top states for per capita scheduled drug prescriptions filled. The UC itself has an accidental overdose death rate and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) birth rate twice the state average as a whole.

Recent surveys show that medical and health care professions need up-to-date training on addiction and drug seeking behaviors as well as best practices to bring positive change. The training will count for 3.75 CME hours. Attendance will be limited and pre-registration is highly recommended. Registration is $50 and general admission is $20. Pre-registeration is open now at

Proceeds from the conference will go to the DeKalb County Community Advisory Board, which aids area children in foster care. All contributions and tickets sold are tax deductible. For more information, email Robert Valerio at


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