DEA’s Family Summits On The Overdose Epidemic

  • Thursday, November 17, 2022
From left, Lisa Jarvis, Brenda Purcell, Asst. special Agent in Charge Brett Pritts, Tanja Jacobs, The Romello A. Marchman Foundation, Pam Peck and Ron Peck
From left, Lisa Jarvis, Brenda Purcell, Asst. special Agent in Charge Brett Pritts, Tanja Jacobs, The Romello A. Marchman Foundation, Pam Peck and Ron Peck

DEA field divisions across the country hosted local Family Summits in their community in order to bring together families who have lost loved ones to drug poisonings or overdoses, federal partners, and community prevention groups. These families are working to prevent others from experiencing the tragic loss of a loved one that they have experienced. These summits provided opportunities to share information, build connections, and foster collaboration between family groups, DEA, and other key sectors of their local community.

Representatives from three Chattanooga families and one Nashville family joined Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Brett Pritts of the Nashville DEA in Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday. The Louisville Division of the DEA hosted the event. Over 30 families from Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia attended the summit.

Special resources were shared by Captain Michael King, U.S. Public Health Service, Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Additionally, Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford spoke about Prosecuting Overdose Death Cases.
In 2021, a total of 3,814 Tennesseans died of a drug overdose, representing a 26 percent increase from 2020. The intent, sometimes referred to as manner of death, is the general classification of how the injury led to the death. In 2021, about 97 percent of all drug overdose deaths (n=3,688) in Tennessee were due to unintentional poisoning, while 2 percent of overdose deaths were intentional.

The latest provisional data from the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s office shows there have been 160 deaths in Hamilton County through the end of Oct. 31. National data suggested there were nine non-fatal overdoses for each death in 2021. For anyone needing free naloxone, please contact the Hamilton County Coalition at 305-1449. To review the 2021 Drug Overdose Deaths Report for Tennessee please refer to:

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/pdo/2021_Tennessee_Drug_Overdose_Deaths.pdf




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