After secretly suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) for five years, Kimberly Ladd finally entered recovery when she found a supportive faith and veterans’ community and therapy program through her employer. In recovery for six years, Ladd found herself faced with an OUD again, this time through her pregnant adult daughter. She took her daughter to two hospitals for help, but both did not know how to help her daughter and sent them away. Eventually, Ladd found a residential treatment program for her daughter, who has been in recovery ever since. However, Ladd was frustrated and perplexed at how difficult it was for someone with an OUD to find help; this frustration led her to establish the Maury County Prevention Coalition (the Coalition) to educate those in the State of Tennessee on substance use disorders.
Established in 2018, the mission of the Coalition is to promote “healthy family relationships, emotional wellness, and the prevention of alcohol, drug use, and other risky behavior by youth through parent education, dynamic youth programs, and engagement with key community stakeholders.” Its website offers a list of resources that includes patient services as well as support groups. The Coalition also hosts presentations and other events–dates and times listed on the website–on substance use disorders and its concomitant issues. In 2019, the coalition reached well over 1,200 community members through, among other things, seminars on mental health and substance abuse, and classes on effective parenting. A task force was also created to (1) reimagine how local hospitals care for pregnant and parenting women with OUD and their babies; (2) organize and carry out a drug take back event; and (3) train citizens on how to administer naloxone.
The Coalition also links to TN Together, the state’s website designated to its commitment “to attack the state’s opioid epidemic through three major components: 1) Prevention, 2) Treatment and 3) Law Enforcement.” Lastly, anyone needing help for a substance use disorder can contact the Coalition directly, through its website.
To learn more about the Coalition, logon to: https://mauryprevention.org/.