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Rural Tennessee Landscape

Tennessee Nonprofit Receives Large Grant to Grow Substance Abuse Programs

A nonprofit organization known as DrugFree WilCo that was set up with the aim of preventing and reducing drug misuse in Wilson County, Tennessee has been awarded one million dollars from the Health Resources and Human Services Administration (HRHSA). The HRHSA forms part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

DrugFree WilCo Seeks to Help the Community of Wilson County with any Issues Involving Illegal Narcotics

DrugFree WilCo has over 150 members and is partnered with The Center for Health & Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University. Members of the nonprofit undertake various tasks. For example, one effort is the creation of focus groups aimed at identifying areas in need of help to accomplish their task of meeting the needs of the local community.

“It’s a struggle when people get addicted to painkillers or opioids, any type of drug,” said Susan Shaw, the group’s project manager. “It’s not easy to take yourself off of that you actually need some assistance. You need medical and emotional help as well. That’s how it got started.” Shaw founded the organization after her son died from an overdose.

“We started a jail-based reentry program to hire a jail transition specialist. We are also working with the DA on that and all law enforcement in the community, as well as different treatment providers,” said Shaw. “Developing that overdose map is going to be a big initiative, Captain Scott Moore who is our chairperson of DrugFree WilCo will be spearheading that part of the initiative.”

The DrugFree WilCo Coalition is Fully Supported by Mayor Hutto of Wilson County

The project is fully supported by the mayor of Wilson County, Randall Hutto. “DrugFree WilCo’s partnership with MTSU Center for Health & Human Services will make a difference and help save lives in Wilson County.” said Mayor Hutton. “Their efforts are supported by the Sheriff’s Office, all law enforcement, and the many agencies working to help children and adults to lead productive lives without addiction.”

The DrugFree Wilco coalition meets every fourth Wednesday of the month via Zoom between three and four thirty in the afternoon.

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