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The Opioid Crisis in Tennessee – Jennifer Tourville, DNP (she/her)

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The opioid crisis has not only wreaked havoc on the US, but has disproportionally affected some states, including Tennessee. Fentanyl overdose deaths have been reported as the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45 by the CDC. This presentation will include information about how the opioid crisis has become a national public health emergency, the current state of affairs, and actions Tennessee leaders are taking to overcome this issue and improve the health of our state.


As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Describe actions that led to the onset of the opioid crisis and various trends that have emerged in the past three decades;

2. Restate how prescription and illicit opioids work within the body and the changes in the brain caused by chronic use; and

3. Describe the current efforts by Tennessee leaders to address and overcome the opioid crisis.


Social workers and others in Tennessee working with individuals and families directly affected by substance use disorder or the opioid crisis.


Dr. Jennifer Tourville is a native to Sevier County, where she still resides today. She holds an undergraduate degree in nursing from East TN State University, a masters and doctoral degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University, and a post-graduate certificate in health policy from UT Knoxville. In her early career, Jennifer provided care to newborns and children in primary care settings as a nurse practitioner. She was also faculty in the UT College of Nursing for several years before serving in her current role as the Executive Director for the UT Institute for Public Service SMART Initiative, where all her efforts are related to assisting TN overcome the opioid crisis.