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There’s a First Time for Everything

I’ve been giving out naloxone for two-and-a-half to three years now, as well as educating laypeople and drug users alike on how to use it. Despite this, I’ve never actually attended a naloxone training event in person.

On December 10, just short of three weeks from now, I’ll be attending a naloxone and suicide prevention training event held in South Fulton, located about 10 minutes north of Martin, Tennessee. I’m not familiar with the person who will be speaking about suicide prevention techniques — or whatever the specific topic she’ll be talking about is, exactly — though I know Melesa Lassiter of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition will be conducting the naloxone-related portion of the event.

Map showing breakdown of Tennessee's Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists by geographic location — there are 13 distinct districts of assignment.
Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists’ assigned regions

Melesa Lassiter is also one of 20 Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists throughout Tennessee, who serves the nine-county region that comprises Northwest Tennessee. Formally, the state recognizes this are as Region 6N.

Melesa can be reached at melesa@martinhousing.org or (731) 819-7603 — she’s a reliable source for name-brand Narcan in the local area.

Ms. Lassiter is the first person I ever talked to in Northwest Tennessee (NWTN) who supports general harm reduction practices. There has to be some other people, at least, in the nine-county region that makes up NWTN who also believe in harm reduction, though I haven’t come across them yet.

If you’re one of them, please let me know — I’d love to hear from you.

One last thing — speaking of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition, the non-profit organization recently came out with an app, TN Recover, that acts as a social media platform upon which people in recovery can share their thoughts, current struggles, strategies for staying clean, and more.

Although I’m not big on apps myself — I don’t even own a smartphone — it’s good that Northwest Tennessee has the resource to help people through rebounding from their addictions.

By Daniel Garrett

I'm a self-employed writer, long-term drug user, and resident of rural Tennessee. Find me on Twitter at @DanielGarrettHR or email me at danpgarr@ut.utm.edu.

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