For the past 35 years, Metro Drug Coalition has served as the primary resource for alcohol and drug misuse information, education and training for the Greater Knoxville area. MDC serves the community by educating, advocating for prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery, while convening and uniting policy makers and leaders to address community substance misuse issues.
Over its rich history, MDC has worked to mobilize all sectors of the community to improve the health of the greater Knoxville community by reducing the use of alcohol and other drugs through policy, systems and environment change. Through the use of evidence-based prevention strategies, the MDC has been recognized as one of the best coalitions in the nation for not only its outcomes, but also level of community engagement. Through strong relationships with businesses, government, schools, community organizations and treatment facilities, we have accomplished more than any one of us could possibly do alone.
For many substance misuse is an uncomfortable topic for a variety of reasons. Our goal is to break down stigma and provide opportunities for individuals to arm themselves with information to help keep their families safe and healthy. Through our expansion of services, we have helped thousands of individuals connect to treatment, provide access to safe and sober housing, obtain the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone to individuals most at risk of an overdose, recovery coaching and mindfulness meditation services.
MDC gratefully recognizes our many leaders and supporters for their role in achieving many milestones throughout our 35-year history. As we continue to sustain low use rates of illegal drugs among our youth, we must also remain diligent in tackling the ever challenging issues of legal drugs such as: tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs. Whether legal or illegal, substance misuse has devastating effects on individuals and families. We also know that recovery is possible and that lives are being restored daily.
Later this year, we look forward to opening The Gateway, recovery community center, where MDC will serve to meet the needs of those seeking hope, healing and connection. Together we can and will continue to strive to create a healthy greater Knoxville community free from substance misuse.
Karen Pershing, MPH, CPS II