Heroin on the rise in Middle Tennessee
SMYRNA – More than two dozen parents, local professionals and politicians gathered for a town hall discussion geared toward eliminating drug use in Rutherford County.
The Community Anti-Drug Coalition of Rutherford County, or CADCOR, held a town hall meeting at the Boys & Girls Club of Rutherford County in Smyrna to inform parents and community leaders about the dangers and trends of drug use. The presentation offered a glimpse into the day-to-day battle with addiction.
Jermonde Davis, community director for CADCOR, kicked off the meeting by showing attendees clips and slides about trends going on in the drug community.
“There are not many things that shock me since I have been doing this for so long,” Davis said. “However I will say some of these trends … surprised me. A lot of these trends are used as tools to escape a lot of stress.”
Some of dangerous trends Davis said he is seeing among teens these days include smoking Smarties candies, drinking hand sanitizer and “butt chugging” or using an alcohol enema.
But what Davis and others in the community said is one of the biggest problems facing Rutherford County and Tennessee is the spike in heroin use.
“It is becoming more expensive for people to purchase prescription drugs these days,” said Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold. “There are situations in which someone could either get prescription pills for $65 or heroin for $10. Which one do you think they are going to get?”
Arnold said meetings like Tuesday’s town hall are good ways to inform the community about trends and encourage early prevention.
Brian Sullivan, public relations coordinator for Vertava Health of Tennessee, said he’s also seen a spike in heroin use in Rutherford County. He said his organization is geared toward eliminating the root of all addiction.
“We want to help people not only get off this drug, but stay off,” Sullivan said. “Meetings like this allow us to know what is going on in the community.”
Although Tuesday’s meeting was the last one this year, Davis said CADCOR will likely have another town hall at the beginning of next year.