NAMA Recovery of Tennessee | The Tennessee Statewide & Northwestern Georgia Chapter of NAMA-R


A Heroin-Sodden Holiday ...with Hope!

A Heroin-Sodden Holiday ...with Hope!
by Zac Talbott, BA, CMA
Chair | Private Clinic North Patient Advisory Committee

                The joy of the winter holiday season has started to permeate the air. Christmas trees are beginning to light up the windows of homes lining southern towns as other families anticipate lighting the Menorah on December 16th for the first night of Hanukkah.  Holiday parties fill weekend planners and seasonal music flows through shops and restaurants.  For many people it truly is the "most wonderful time of the year."  But the sad reality is that not all families will be celebrating this holiday season, as many will grieve the lives lost to the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that is plaguing the southeastern region and the United States at large. Addiction and overdose take no holiday from destroying or taking lives, and this year there is particular reason for alarm as reports of heroin begin to dot the map in rural areas where even five years ago it had never before been seen.


Celebrate Medication Supported Recovery Through Advocacy

Celebrate Medication Supported Recovery Through Advocacy

by Zac Talbott, BA, CMA
Administrator | The Peer Recovery Network of the MARS Project
Chair | Private Clinic North Patient Advisory Committee

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared September "National Recovery Month" 25 years ago this [past] month. The past quarter century has witnessed an explosion in our understanding of addiction as well as why and how different medical treatments for substance use disorders work. But it isn't neuroscience alone that has enhanced our understanding and acceptance of evidence based medical treatments for substance use disorders; The advocacy movement across the spectrum of recovery approaches has seen an increase in participation, involvement and interest over the past 25 years as well. On this 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month let us all celebrate medication supported recovery through participating in and supporting our own patient advocacy movement.


Methadone’s No Magic Bullet, But Our Recovery Must Be Based in Hope

We rarely post other blogs in their entirety here, but I think this one is relevant and important. Please take time to read this entry from The Methadone Life.


No matter how many days, months or years go by in stable, medication assisted recovery it’s important to remember that triggers remain & that the underlying temptations and urges resulting from our struggle with opiate use never completely go away. A fight with our husband/wife or partner, a death in the family, stress with our family or kids, frustration dealing with the clinic system —- any number of things has the possibility to conjure up old desires to just “make it go away” or long for that “quick fix” that was seemingly able to solve all our problems during our days of active drug use. And it’s easy for us, for me at least, to get lost in a daze of daydreaming about how nice it would be to feel the warmth of that rush as all my problems fade away once again. How nice it would be…


National Recovery Month 2014 Activities and Program Visits

Today marks the beginning of National Recovery Month!!!

NAMA Recovery of Tennessee, the Tennessee statewide & Northwestern Georgia Chapter of the National Alliance for Medication Assisted (NAMA) Recovery, will be visiting several opioid treatment programs (OTPs) across the State of Tennessee, Northwestern Georgia & Western North Carolina throughout the month of September!!


When Facing An Epidemic, Advocacy Is Key (Part 2 of 2)

When Facing An Epidemic, Advocacy Is Key

Part 2 of 2

by Zac Talbott, BA, CMA, Director
NAMA Recovery of Tennessee
The Tennessee statewide and Northwestern Georgia Chapter of

"Just that you people who are involved in advocacy, keep up the work. I have seen  changes come about because of people becoming involved. It is these who are the real heroes  in all this. Without advocacy, changes will not come about within the present system." 
-Dr. Vincent Dole

As the southeastern region and our nation at large continue to wrestle with the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic, it is critical that all of us, patients, providers, family, and friends alike, unite as advocates for evidence-based, proven effective medical treatments for opioid addiction. The science and research is clear. Methadone maintenance treatment stands alone as the most evidence based and scientifically proven treatment in all of medicine, yet this life-saving and life-restoring treatment remains one of the most misunderstood, stigmatized, and controversial medical treatments. Knowing the facts and being able to relay the proven truths about medication assisted treatment is an extremely important way we can advocate, but facts and data alone are not enough. The 180-degree turn that opponents and skeptics of methadone and buprenorphine treatment need won’t be due to data alone. We all must be advocates and proclaimers of the truth through our very lives.


PRESS RELEASE: Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release

Contacts Person
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,
Phone/Fax: 1.212.595.NAMA  (1-212-595-6262)

For Release
August 8, 2014

Nominations Open for the
Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award

Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was  instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In  1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President  of the American Methadone Treatment Association (now AATOD) and as Vice  Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland.  Mr. Lane  was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment  experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.   


Opioid Addiction: A Brain Disease. So Why Don't You Believe It?

Opioid Addiction: A Brain Disease.  So Why Don't You Believe It?

by Zac Talbott, BA, CMA
Director | NAMA Recovery of Tennessee

Since opioid addiction was first documented in the United States following the U.S. Civil War of the 1860's and dubbed "the Army Disease," through the synthesis of heroin a couple decades later and its marketing by the Bayer Company as a "wonder drug" into the early 1900s, its rise among minorities and the poor in the mid-20th century, to its resurgence in the middle class today due largely to the rise of the "pill mill" and Purdue Pharmaceutical's effective marketing of OxyContin during a time the American Medical Association was decrying the "under treatment" of chronic pain,  dependence on opioids has long been referred to as a "disease." But an unfortunate reality remains that many, including the 12 step fellowships like Narcotics Anonymous, call it a disease yet don't truly embrace the disease theory due to their rejection of its medical treatment.  So why is it that many today, even within the field of substance use and medication assisted treatment, don't fully believe or embrace the disease concept?


Watauga Recovery Center submits application to provide methadone treatment and open an opioid treatment program in Johnson City, Tennessee


Attention methadone patients who live in Johnson City, Tennessee and/or the Tri Cities!


PRESS RELEASE: Notice of SAMHSA Listening Session Confidentiality Regulations 42 CFR part 2

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

Press Release

Contact Persons
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,
Roxanne Baker, President,
Phone/Fax: 212.595.NAMA  (212-595-62620)

For Release
June 2, 2014

Notice of SAMHSA Listening Session
Confidentiality Regulations 42 CFR  part 2

SAMHSA the federal agency in charge of methadone treatment is scheduling a Listening Session.  They want to hear from professionals and especially patients about Confidentiality and your treatment.


Joint PRESS RELEASE from Tennessee Chapters of AATOD and NAMA-R regarding newly signed Tennessee state Pregnancy Law

Tennessee Providers for Opioid Dependence
American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, Inc.

NAMA Recovery of Tennessee
National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery, Inc.

Press Release

Contact Persons: 
Mark Parrino, AATOD, President,
Deb Crowley, TPOD/TN Chapter of AATOD, Board Chair
Joycelyn Woods, NAMA-R, Executive Director,
Zac Talbott, NAMA-R of TN, Director,>>>

For Release:   May 2, 2014

Tennessee Becomes First State to Criminalize Women for the Outcomes of their Pregnancies


The Stigma of an Evidence Based Recovery from Opioid Dependence

The Stigma of An Evidence Based Recovery from Opioid Dependence
By Zac Talbott, BA, CMA
Director | NAMA Recovery of Tennessee
Chair | Private Clinic North Patient Advisory Committee

  Patients and providers of medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence with methadone or buprenorphine have been saturated with the word "recovery" in recent years. Even our NAMA Recovery-sponsored and SAMHSA-funded MAT peer support project's name is the Medication Assisted Recovery Services (MARS™) Project. So what does the word "recovery" mean, and is it a good thing or a bad thing that the MAT community has become so centered around this word?


NAMA Recovery of Tennessee to visit Evansville, Indiana OTP this week


Pregnant in Outreach

            It seems that I hardly have any free time these days.  That is what happens when you have kids, try to maintain a career, and still somehow manage to dedicate time to your own passions in this life.  As we become more and more consumed with families, and work, and socialization, we find that it is harder and harder to give our time away.  But, to some of us- there is nothing we do that is more valuable.