Monday, June 17, 2024
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Cookeville Council Allocates Some $190,000 Of Opioid Money To CRMC

Cookeville will use some $190,000 in Opioid Abatement money for an Addiction Navigator Service at Cookeville Regional.

Cookeville Mayor Laurin Wheaton said the navigator will be able to track how fast patients are getting into treatment facilities and compare that to how the process worked before. Wheaton said the addiction navigator will not only help recovering addicts but also help free up the ER.

“A lot of the reasons that your ER is backed up and you can’t get through is because you’ve got people coming in with overdoses and acute addiction issues going on right then, so by utilizing this addiction navigator, we can hopefully expedite their entry into treatment,” Wheaton said.

Wheaton said the return on investment here will be ten-fold and measurable. The city received the funds from the state from an opioid addiction settlement to be distributed to entities involved in addiction prevention and treatment projects.

Council Member Luke Eldridge said he has ten years of experience with addiction prevention and this will be a major tool in facilitating recovery.

“This is exciting because, in previous work, that’s all I dealt with was people getting there and there’s nowhere to go, so having somebody to focus on this will be huge for our community,” Eldridge said. “Then, get the wrap-around service they need, so that’ll be fantastic. I appreciate that.”

The hospital will have to sign an agreement with the city stipulating that they will follow the guidelines drawn up for the funds. Council Member Chad Gilbert said CRMC has the horsepower to create a sustainable system.

Any money the city receives from future lawsuits will be added to the funding for the navigator project.

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