Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Rural East Tennessee

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – East Tennessee Consortium (RCORP-ETC) strives to create healthy communities by enhancing health promotion and prevention, collaboration, and access to health services and care. Together these efforts will promote safety, physical and emotional wellness, and economic security.

National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance dedicated to raising awareness for evidence-based and compassionate treatment and recovery practices for all forms of substance use disorder. This week, SAMHSA is emphasizing the importance of peer support in guiding individuals through recovery. Supportive peer groups can provide hope through sharing lived experiences and guide individuals and families to resources. SAMHSA is also hosting several training events for providers, located here:

Faith Leaders Wanted!

COURAGE is currently looking for faith leaders in Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Granger, Jefferson, Scott or Union Counties interested in learning about the impact of substance use disorder (SUD) in their community to help better support those impacted. By becoming a part of COURAGE Faith Leaders Overcoming Opioids in the Community (FLOC),  they can support and nurture those affected by SUD and learn ways to incorporate recovery support in their faith communities. This is a 4 month program that includes a $500 stipend upon completion. To get involved, contact Marta Cogburn (First United Methodist Church, Newport) at or Kyle Prichard (The Hill Church, Claiborne) at
Visit or scan the QR code to sign up by August 31, 2023.

For an overview of the program and more information, please see the documents attached below 

Courage FLOC syllabus 2023 

COURAGE FLOC flyer 2023 

Member Spotlight

RCORP’s very own Dr. Jennifer Tourville provided an insightful interview on the alarming nature of the epidemic of opioid deaths in the US for HealthConnections. The discussion provides an overview of the current status of the epidemic, Dr. Tourville’s biggest concerns, as well as what is being done to combat the issue. You can find the interview here.

Stigma Reduction Trainings

Pastor Kyle Prichard of The Hill Church offers free stigma reduction trainings, available in-person or online. These trainings cover the effects of substance use disorder on the brain, the impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and the social determinants of substance use disorder in rural East Tennessee. For more information, contact Pastor Kyle Prichard at 423-4891927 or email him at


RCORP-ETC has just been approved to begin working on a new project: Combatting Opioid Use in Rural Appalachia with Grace and Evidence. COURAGE will work to address 2 main goals: (1) prevent opioid use disorder (OUD) with an emphasis on rural adolescents and their caregivers and (2) enhance and expand OUD treatment and recovery services by promoting integrated, interdisciplinary care and reducing stigma.

The COURAGE service area will span six rural counties (Scott, Campbell, Union, Claiborne, Grainger, and Cocke) and two census tracts in partially rural Jefferson county, an area which has been shown to be particularly vulnerable to OUD and related poor health outcomes among young adults and adolescents. COURAGE hopes to effectively get treatment for OUD to those who need it most, without those suffering from OUD having to worry about any kind of stigma or shame. 



Project NOW is continuing its efforts to to prevent neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in rural East Tennessee. Initiatives of this project include (1) Enhancing quality of the provider workforce through professional training; (2) Incorporating family planning into healthcare visits; and (3) Expanding behavioral health workforce and youth health promotion services.



Useful Information