It is an epidemic that knows no boundaries and kills thousands each year.

In 2017, more than 1,300 people died from opioids.

This time last year, a local organization put boots on the ground, not only in the Volunteer State, but across the country to help those struggling with opioid addiction.

At the Addiction Campuses call center, hundreds of calls come in each and every day from people looking to get the help they need to put an end to the grip opioids have on their lives.

News4 caught up with those men and women who are working on the front lines.

Orlando Andrews is one of those mobile responders. He goes out into local hospitals, working with case managers and nurses to help addicts who come in.

He shared this first-hand account.

“I think it's having a great impact, yes,” Andrews said. “When I was in the (hospital) waiting room, a lady came up to me. (She) and her husband needed to go into treatment. (I) got them into the call center, to do the assessment, and I drove them to Nashville to get them into the treatment center.  We got them in the same day.”

“It's something they wouldn't have been able to do, had I not physically been there in the waiting room, just waiting to talk to one of the case managers.”

Last November, Addiction Campuse -- based in the heart of Nashville, sent out 23 mobile crisis units across the United States. These mobile crisis units initially set up shop in 16 different states. That number has since grown to almost 30 states! 

The number of mobile units doubled.

On the ground, directors assigned to each state and region work to connect those seeking treatment with options in their area.

“We've received calls all over the country as a result of that,” said Ashley Burks, who manages the Addiction Campuses call center. “The opioid epidemic is growing, so we have to grow to keep up with it.”

Since July, more than 2,200 people were placed in long term treatment, as the result of these mobile response teams.

“You really have to seize that opportunity when someone says they're ready to reach out and get help,” Burks said.

Addiction Campuses offers a 24/7 hotline it's staffed by 50 callers, each and every day. There's always someone willing to help.

Click here or call the hotline at 1-888-614-2251

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Edward Burch joined News4 at a reporter in December 2016. Edward currently covers growth stories in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

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