Nonprofit launches substance abuse program for those living at or below poverty line in Rutherford County

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A nonprofit in Rutherford County hopes to help those struggling with addiction who are living at or below the poverty line with a new treatment program.

In 2020, Rutherford County authorities reported at least 15 fatal drug overdoses. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office responded to 14 overdoses as of June 2021.

Cooperative Recovery of Mental Health Cooperative opened a new state-of-the-art substance use and addiction treatment clinic in Murfreesboro. The staff say they apply treatments using novel
medications such as Suboxone, combined with trauma-based psychotherapy, psychiatry and
care management.

The program manager, Julie Barnes, told News 2 the program takes a lot of coordinating between different resources in the community.

“We all really coordinate with each other and its definitely an integrated approach. Primary care services we offer, mental health services we offer as well. So, I think that is what is so unique about our program is that we treat the entire individual vs just the substance use,” said Barnes.

She also said a lot of the time those who need help don’t realize what they’re ingesting.

“Opiates, fentanyl. A lot of people think they’re using a certain substance but really its fentanyl and when we tell them they are shocked. It’s really heartbreaking and it’s also very scary for these people who think they are buying something else and it could possibly kill them.”

Barnes said the community has a desperate need for a program like this.

“I’ve worked in an in-patient setting, in an IOP, PHP, which are higher levels of care and for someone in active addiction it can be really intimidating to drop everything in your life to go pick up and live somewhere in order to be treated.”

Dr. David Patzer, a board-certified addiction psychiatrist will see all clients and welcomes them
to experience a new and better way of life. All TennCare plans are accepted.

To get started with the program or to make a referral, call (615) 687-4680. The clinic is located at 1419 Kensington Square Court in Murfreesboro. To schedule a tour or find our more information, call Michael Kirshner at 615-743-1623 or mkirshner@mhc-tn.org.

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