Tennessee and Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce will host “Tools to Navigate the Opioid Crisis” January 17

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Bradley Jackson, the president and CEO of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, recently announced the first in a series of regional events focused on engaging the business community about the impact of opioid abuse. The Tennessee Chamber is partnering with the Jackson Chamber to host a breakfast and panel discussion, this Friday, Jan. 17, featuring local leaders in the recovery, healthcare and criminal justice system.
Business representatives, employers and human resource managers are invited to attend the breakfast, ask questions and connect with local resources. The event will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Jackson State Community College. The Jackson event is the first leg of a statewide tour and the launch of the chamber’s opioid toolkit.
This toolkit and regional meetings partnering with local chambers of commerce, provides resources and information for employers and communities to identify and manage the significant problems with substance use disorder, prevent substance use and improve and promote safety in the workplace and in communities at large.
“The opioid crisis has devastated Tennessee’s families, schools, courts and businesses for far too long,” said Kyle Spurgeon, CEO of the Jackson Chamber. “We understand the challenges businesses face to remain competitive in light of this crisis, and we’re proud to support the Tennessee Chamber’s efforts to provide these local, statewide, and national resources.”
“The Tennessee Chamber is proud to partner with the Jackson Chamber to provide on-the-ground resources for our West Tennessee business community,” said Bradley Jackson, CEO of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “Tennessee businesses are on the frontline of this fight against opioids, and as the statewide business association, we believe our effort to inform businesses and utilize this toolkit will increase productivity and improve safety in the workplace. We look forward to a lively conversation and insight into how businesses can remain competitive and act in the best interest of their employees.”
The event will begin with a keynote address from Jason Pritchard, a community coalition engagement specialist with Ballad Health. The panel discussion, moderated by Bradley Jackson, will feature representatives from West Tennessee Healthcare and Impact Healthcare. Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts Director Deborah Taylor Tate will also participate in the panel discussion. Director Tate has previously received accolades for her work to fight the opioid crisis through “developing court-related resources for legal issues that arise from opioid abuse.”
The opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on the state of Tennessee.
In 2018, 1,827 people in Tennessee died of an overdose, the deadliest year on record according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a policy research group at the University of Tennessee, the opioid epidemic annually costs Tennesseans over $2 billion as of 2017, largely due to lost income of people who have left the labor market due to a substance use disorder. However, West Tennessee natives including Marie Williams and Brandon Gibson have led the push to open up access to recovery services and advocate for criminal justice reform surrounding rehab services.
While employers can take advantage of the Tennessee Chamber’s opioid toolkit today, West Tennessee businesses who would like to register for the Jan. 17 event in Jackson can do so at www.tnchamber.org/otk.
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry is the unified voice of business and premier advocacy organization in the state. The Tennessee Chamber serves as the State Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, the state affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Chemistry Council.
The Tennessee Chamber creates prosperity for all Tennesseans through an economy of increased productivity and global competitiveness. Find out more at www.tnchamber.org.