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Knox County sees increase of overdose-related deaths since start of coronavirus pandemic

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The coronavirus pandemic, which arrived in Tennessee in March, has impacted communities in numerous ways apart from the simple fact that the number of people infected continues to increase.

The collateral damage from the pandemic also includes those struggling with addiction.

Between March and May of this year, according to the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office‘s website, 100 people died of a suspected overdose-related deaths.

During the same time frame in 2019, 71 people died.

That is a 40% increase of overdose-related deaths.

Knox County DA’s Office, medical examiner data

In statistics shared by the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and the Drug Related Death Task Force, as of this story’s publication, there have been 14 suspected overdose-related deaths in the month of July, so far.

Last year, the month of July saw 20 deaths total; however, by July 20 of 2019, there had been 11 deaths.

This year has already surpassed 2019’s overdose-related deaths, year-to-date, total: There have been 175 overdose-related deaths for 2020; while in 2019, that total was at 141.

That’s a 24% increase in suspected overdose-related deaths.

According to the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, the data sets show the number of suspected drug overdose deaths in Knox County from information provided by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center; however, in the county’s effort to identify suspected drug overdose deaths as soon as possible, the data is initially obtained before a death is determined to be an overdose.

Once a determination is made by the medical examiner, the data is updated, causing it to fluctuate over time.

The Metro Drug Coalition of Knoxville posted about the drastic increase of deaths in its July Gateway update online.

Karen Pershing, executive director of Knoxville’s Metro Drug Coalition, said the pandemic created a lot of isolation.

While it’s not easy for many to be isolated, it’s especially difficult for those struggling with addiction.

She said many people were able to get through stay-at-home orders because they could call loved ones and find virtual ways to connect.

For people who are early in their recovery process, they haven’t had time to rebuild those connections or create new ones.

“We know the opposite of addiction is not recovery, but it’s connection, and it’s really connection to others and connection with the broader community,” Pershing said.

Sharon Hajko, a volunteer with the county’s overdose victim’s support group, said the major difference between this year and last year is being able to have those face-to-face interactions.

“You were meeting people face to face, the medication take back events, you were getting to talk to people face to face. The recovery groups were meeting face to face,” Hajko said.

Pershing said that one of the broken connections could also be a trigger to use drugs or alcohol: loss of employment when businesses were forced to close.

“When businesses shut down or had to lay people off, again, that leaves people feeling more hopeless and when you feel more hopeless, sometimes you may turn to alcohol or drugs,” Pershing said.

Pershing added that due to social distancing, addicts might be using drugs alone more often, which means no one is there to administer Nalaxone or call 911.

However, MDC was still finding ways to train loved ones how to administer Nalaxone, even if it meant meeting up in a random parking lot and wearing masks and gloves.

Support and recovery services in general also suffered, according to Pershing.

She said treatment was still available, but because of the pandemic, how people were being treated shifted, which also created a little slow down of how many people could be helped.

Metro Drug Coalition also had to take a pause in creating a community recovery center due to the pandemic.

How ‘The Gateway’ provided space for ‘The Guest House’

Earlier this year, Metro Drug Coalition was part of an initiative that opened “The Guest House” for people experiencing homelessness to stay while recovering from COVID-19.

The coalition had plans to open its recovery shelter, “The Gateway” this year, but due to the pandemic, partnered with the city to open “The Guest House” at the location originally designated for The Gateway.

In April, MDC said they were temporarily putting The Gateway plans on hold to allow for the building on West Fifth Ave. to be a shelter space for people experiencing homelessness who have been tested for COVID-19.

Hajko said their family support groups pretty much stopped as well because of the pandemic.

As a parent of an overdose victim herself, Hajko truly feels sorry for the families who recently lost loved ones, and wants them to know, as well as struggling addicts, there will always be help.

“Unfortunately you’re not alone, and there are people out there who understand and are willing to talk to you,” Hajko said.

Within the last month or so, groups started meeting again.

Hajko said the support group started meeting in person again at the beginning of July, wearing masks and gloves.

Pershing said sometimes recovery groups meet outside or virtually.

She said she knows it’s difficult to battle a pandemic and an epidemic at the same time, but now that everything is reopening again, she knows the community can step up.

“I really feel that we can do something about this when we come out of it. If we can take the caring and concern we have for spreading this virus, and we can translate that into ‘let’s not let these young people die unintentionally from drug overdoses,’ there is nothing this community can’t do,” Pershing said.

How MDC wants to continue its mission in driving down overdose data, offering resources through ‘The Gateway’

Despite these numbers, Pershing said MDC isn’t giving up hope that they can help drive down the numbers for the remainder of the year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of that mission, they’re trying to continue its renovations for “The Gateway” and thanks to a federal grant, that will help, but there’s more to do.

“There is not a more urgent time for our community to come together and build a center where connection, healing and hope can happen for individuals and families. The Gateway renovation needs to happen quickly. By partnering with MDC, you can help build bridges to lasting recovery through recovery coaching, access to support groups, art and music therapy, trainings for individuals and families, access to credit repair and employment services, as well as opportunities for connection to additional education and job training programs.
We need a physical place for all of this to come together. The building is in a perfect location, staff and volunteers are ready to serve, we need you to come alongside us to push aside the stigma of guilt and shame and open up life-changing opportunities. MDC recently received the federal Building Communities of Recovery grant to cover the operations for the next three years. We are the first agency in Tennessee to receive this funding. A solid foundation is in place, but physical space is our only limitation.
With your help, we can unlock endless possibilities of individuals and families.”
-Metro Drug Coalition

For anyone struggling with addiction, call the TN Redline at 1-800-889-9789.

For families who lost loved ones to an overdose, call Tracee Smith with the Knox County DA’s office at 865-215-3875.

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Debt Consolidation: Market 2021 also Industry is Booming Worldwide with Key Players

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Debt Consolidation Market With COVID19-Pandemic Impact Analysis:

Debt Consolidation Market 2021 this report is including with the COVID19 Outbreak Impact analysis of key points influencing the growth of the market. Also, Debt Consolidation Market (By major key players, By Types, By Applications, and Leading Regions) Segments outlook, Business assessment, Competition scenario, Trends and Forecast by Upcoming Year’s. The study of the Debt Consolidation report is done based on the significant research methodology that provides the analytical inspection of the global market based on various segments the Industry is alienated into also the summary and advance size of the marketplace owing to the various outlook possibilities. The report also gives 360-degree overview of the competitive landscape of the industries. SWOT analysis has been used to understand the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in front of the businesses. Thus, helping the companies to understand the threats and challenges in front of the businesses. Debt Consolidation market is showing steady growth and CAGR is expected to improve during the forecast period.

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The Major Players in the Debt Consolidation Market.

Mozo
Canstar
Credit Repair Australia
Australian Debt Agreements
Think Money
Debt Negotiators
The DCS Group has
Debt Cutter
Sort My Debt
Clear Credit Solutions
Australian Debt Solvers
Australian Lending Center

 

The Debt Consolidation Market Report Helps You in Understanding:

  1. Dominant and emerging trend analysis, elaborate references of key drivers, restraints, threats and challenges besides also harping on product categorization as well as industry chain analysis that collectively influence uniform growth
  2. The Debt Consolidation market report lends amplified focus on important business priorities and investment choices preferred by key players as well as contributing players
  3. The Debt Consolidation market report discusses at length the core growth pattern and market dimensions, besides also harping on decoding the competition spectrum for thorough business discretion

Key Businesses Segmentation of Debt Consolidation Market

on the basis of types, the Debt Consolidation market from 2015 to 2026 is primarily split into:
Credit Card Debt
Overdrafts or Loans
Others

on the basis of applications, the Debt Consolidation market from 2015 to 2026 covers:
Enterprise
Private

Some of the key factors contributing to the Debt Consolidation market growth include:

Regional Debt Consolidation Market Analysis:

It could be divided into two different sections: one for regional production analysis and the other for regional consumption analysis. Here, the analysts share gross margin, price, revenue, production, CAGR, and other factors that indicate the growth of all regional markets studied in the report. covering

RegionCountries
North AmericaU.S. & Canada
EuropeU.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, BENELUX, NORDIC, Rest of Europe
Asia-PacificChina, India, Japan, South Korea

 

Australia, New Zealand, Rest of Asia-Pacific

Latin AmericaBrazil, Mexico, Argentina, Rest of Latin America
Middle East and AfricaIsrael, GCC, South Africa, Rest of Middle East and Africa
  • Growing per capita disposable income
  • Favorable for youth Demographics
  • Technology advancement

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  • Impact on Debt Consolidation market Size
  • End User Trend, Preferences and Budget Impact of Debt Consolidation market
  • Regulatory Framework/Government Policies
  • Key Players Strategy to Tackle Negative Impact of Debt Consolidation market
  • New Opportunity Window of Debt Consolidation market

Key Question Answered in Debt Consolidation Market Report.

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Debt Consolidation Market?
  • What are the different marketing and distribution channels?
  • What is the current CAGR of the Debt Consolidation Market?
  • What are the Debt Consolidation market opportunities in front of the market?
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  • What are the key outcomes of SWOT and Porter’s five techniques?
  • What is the Debt Consolidation market size and growth rate in the forecast period?

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  • Chapter 2: Debt Consolidation Industry Chain Analysis, Upstream Raw Material Suppliers, Major Players, Production Process Analysis, Cost Analysis, Market Channels, and Major Downstream Buyers.
  • Chapter 3: Value Analysis, Production, Growth Rate and Price Analysis by Type of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 4: Downstream Characteristics, Consumption and Market Share by Application of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 5: Production Volume, Price, Gross Margin, and Revenue ($) of Debt Consolidation by Regions.
  • Chapter 6: Debt Consolidation Production, Consumption, Export, and Import by Regions.
  • Chapter 7: Debt Consolidation Market Status and SWOT Analysis by Regions.
  • Chapter 8: Competitive Landscape, Product Introduction, Company Profiles, Market Distribution Status by Players of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 9: Debt Consolidation Market Analysis and Forecast by Type and Application.
  • Chapter 10: Debt Consolidation Market Analysis and Forecast by Regions.
  • Chapter 11: Debt Consolidation Industry Characteristics, Key Factors, New Entrants SWOT Analysis, Investment Feasibility Analysis.
  • Chapter 12: Debt Consolidation Market Conclusion of the Whole Report.
  • Chapter 13: Appendix Such as Methodology and Data Resources of Debt Consolidation Market Research.

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Teams eliminated during the NFL’s Divisional Round face major offseason questions

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It’s brutal to lose in the Divisional Round of the 2020-2021 NFL Playoffs — it leaves most of the teams that get eliminated with pressing questions. Questions ranging from easy ones (“How do we take the next step”) to difficult ones (“How do we keep the salary cap from tearing us apart next year?”) to downright existential ones (“Is everything we are trying to accomplish doomed to failure?”). The Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and New Orleans Saints are grappling with those questions now that their 2020 seasons have come to a close.

Here’s an NFL Recap look at what lies ahead for the four eliminated teams from Divisional Round action that came so close to the Super Bowl, and yet are still so far away.

Editor’s note — bookmark the main page on Pro Football Network for all of Mike’s thoughts in the full NFL Recap beyond this Conference Championship preview!

The first eliminated team of the NFL Divisional Round: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams enter the offseason $22 million over the salary cap. Their in-house free agent list is led by top defensive backs Troy Hill and Darious Williams, both of whom will be expensive to keep. And the Rams lack a first-round pick because of the Jalen Ramsey trade (which feels like it happened two days after the Herschel Walker trade). Other than that, everything is peachy-keen.

The Rams will have trouble retaining second-tier in-house free agents like center Austin Blythe, receiver Josh Reynolds, or tight end Gerald Everett, let alone someone like Williams unless they perform some serious credit repair. Look for an offseason of restructured contracts, free agent departures, and very little good news as the Rams try to keep their playoff window from slamming shut.

The second eliminated team of the NFL Divisional Round: Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson needs to become a more consistent passer outside the numbers. The Ravens’ offense needs a legitimate Plan B when they fall behind by more than a touchdown or when their option running game is bottled up.

And the whole team needs to find ways to avoid the type of catastrophic big-game failures that get them eliminated in NFL Playoff games. Red zone collapses, silly mistakes, and sudden reversals in which a long drive turns into seven points for the opponent have destroyed them.

Featured | Valdovinos’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

The Ravens must also keep daring to be different. They must avoid the trap of thinking that Jackson or their offense has some special deficiency that will doom them to playoff also-ran status. Jackson and the Ravens are easy targets for lazy skepticism because they are so unique. If Jackson were a pocket passer in a conventional offense, he could go 8-8 for years while facing only moderate criticism while earning dump trucks full of money to almost win Wild Card games.

The Ravens have quantitative problems, not qualitative ones. They are a few tweaks, not an overhaul, away from the Super Bowl. Fortunately, they are also one of the best organizations in the league when it comes to sticking to their long-range plan.

Sights set on next year: Cleveland Browns

Going from 0-16 to 11-5 is easy, especially when it takes three years to do it. Going from 11-5 to the Super Bowl is much harder because the Browns will be swimming against the tides of the salary cap, draft order, and a harder 2021 schedule.

Self-scouting is crucial for an NFL team at the Browns’ stage of development and eliminated in the Divisional Round. They cannot fool themselves into thinking that they are “one player away” or that further improvements will just happen automatically.

The Browns’ salary cap situation is pretty good. It’s about $24 million in on-paper space, much of which will likely be spent on extensions, even if the team takes another year to wait-and-see on Baker Mayfield (guard Wyatt Teller, for example, is in the final year of his rookie contract).

Extra third and fourth-round picks from past trades will help spackle some holes. And Odell Beckham returns next year, which is almost certainly a good thing. The Browns sorely need a receiver who can stretch the field, and Beckham is only about 15-20% as much of a loopy distraction as your father-in-law insists he is.

The Browns should be at least as good in 2021 as they were in 2020. That’s fine, so long as an organization with zero history of sustaining success realizes that any team that doesn’t get ahead in the NFL ends up falling behind.

Sights set on next year: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are an eliminated team, and will be up Schitt’s Creek the moment Drew Brees retires from the NFL. They’re so deep in cap debt ($95 million entering the 2021 offseason) that the whole team will have to live in a motel room in a Canadian countryside town full of quirky characters just to make ends meet.

The Saints face the greatest cap crisis in NFL history, and Recap doesn’t have the bandwidth or word count to dig into the macroeconomics of what they will have to do to field a roster next year. Let’s just say that we will get to see what the Taysom Hill/Alvin Kamara option package looks like when half of the remaining roster is earning the league minimum.

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Top scams of 2020; what to watch out for in 2021

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CHICAGO (WLS) — The Better Business Bureau released its top 10 scam list for 2020. No doubt these will be things to watch out for in 2021.

Some of the most common were fake websites tricking consumers into making a purchase who then never get the product. This is something the I-Team has exposed during the pandemic with people never getting the Personal protective equipment they ordered.

RELATED: How to spot phishing scam from fake Amazon emails about shipping

Another involved the sale of counterfeit products.

Employment or job offer scams where you’re possibly asked to send money to make money were also popular.

It’s also worth mentioning all of these include “COVID-19” related scams which on its own came in at number four.

RELATED: Avoid Falling For Coronavirus Scams

One thing to always remember to avoid getting scammed is to thoroughly research websites before you send anyone money.

Top 10 Scams of 2020:

1. Online Purchase – fake websites
2. Counterfeit Products (Clothing, electronics, shoes, purses, etc.)
3. Employment – scam job offers
4. COVID Related Scams – (These may be much higher – COVID is sited in other categories)
5. Debt Collections – invoices, calls or emails for fake debts

6. Advance Fee Loan – the promise of a “loan” – after you pay fees
7. Phishing Scams – (Clicking on scam links can lead to malware – imposter scams etc.)
8. Credit Card – Includes fake emails and calls claiming there’s a problem with your account in order to steal money and information – or fake credit card debt consolidation
9. Credit Repair/Debt Relief
10. Identity Theft -can we say not a matter of if but when it will happen to you?

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