A state-sponsored effort to address Tennessee’s spiraling rate of prescription drug abuse comes to East Tennessee today as part of a statewide tour. Tennessee’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Doug Varney and other addiction experts have been traveling the state this summer to draw attention to what they’re calling an “epidemic”, while highlighting specific strategies designed to bring it under control.
During the first week of October 2012, WUOT's Matt Shafer Powell introduced listeners to three women whose lives illustrate the profound ways in which East Tennessee's prescription drug abuse epidemic is affecting the bond between mothers and their children.
Carla Saunders is a Nurse Practitioner at East Tennessee Children's Hospital where she sees an alarming number of babies each day who are born dependent upon the same painkillers as their mothers.
Katie Baker looks back on her turbulent childhood, in which she lived alone with her drug-addicted mother.