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The Center for Addiction Science at UTHSC and Memphis Area Prevention Coalition Host Forums on Addiction and Overdose


The Center for Addiction Science at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition will present forums April 18 and 19 to educate health care providers, first responders, and the public on recognizing and treating opioid use disorder.

The Medical Forum on Addiction and Overdose will be held at 11:30 a.m. April 18 (includes lunch), and repeats at 8:30 a.m. April 19 (includes breakfast). Both sessions are free and will be held in the Freeman Auditorium at UTHSC Hamilton Eye Institute, 930 Madison, Third Floor.

The forums aim to educate participants on the signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder, to provide an overview of the science of addiction, to assist practitioners in diagnosing and treating patients with opioid use disorder, and to discuss the use of NARCAN, the drug used to resuscitate an individual who has overdosed on opioids. The panel will also include a discussion on the issues surrounding the trafficking of opioids in West Tennessee.

The speakers are:

  • Shawn Hamm, MD, associate professor and physician in the Center for Addiction Science at UTHSC
  • Drew Blackstock, MD, a board certified family medicine physician and an Addiction Medicine Fellow¬†at UTHSC
  • Jack Wyatt, executive director of the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition
  • Joseph Griffith, special assistant U.S. attorney

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016. That represents the highest annual number in state history, and is an increase from the 1,451 overdose deaths recorded among Tennessee residents in 2015.

The Center for Addiction Science at UTHSC was launched to combat the addiction epidemic in Tennessee. The center was named the first Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine in the country by The Addiction Medicine Foundation in 2016.

The center brings together clinical care, research, education, and community outreach to address addiction and deadly substance use. The upcoming forums stem from its education and outreach missions.

The Memphis Area Prevention Coalition is a nonprofit group aimed at supporting substance abuse prevention efforts in Shelby County.

There is no fee to attend the forums, which are open to anyone interested. Registration is requested by April 17. For more information or to register, email yashica.moody@uthsc.edu or call the UTHSC Center for Addiction Science at 901-866-8630.

This project is funded under a grant contract with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.