Opioid addiction treatment center planned to come to Maryville
"My first thought was the day I knew was coming, is here," said Sherry Petrowski.
In 2014 her son, Chris Sullivan, died of an opioid overdose.
"When you're the mother of an addict every time a phone rings, every time you walk away from your child you feel like it's the last time," explained Petrowski.
She wants to see the crisis come to a halt, and one Maryville is on a mission.
"It's a true litany of despair and grief and death that this crisis has wrought on this community," said Zac Talbott.
He is working to open an opioid treatment facility in Maryville that he hopes will help hundreds of people.
"I've lost count long ago even just standing here thinking about the number of lives we've lost," said Talbott.
He told me this will be the first facility in the East Tennessee treatment region that will have all three of the FDA-approved opioid treatment medications.
He also told me this is one of the only locations where all medications will be dispensed on site.
The State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services verifies his statements.
"Because we have that experience and knowledge we really felt that it was time to focus on our home town," explained Talbott, "And bring another resource among the ones that are already here, good work though they're doing, there's still an unmet need."
A need Petrowski is noticing.
"My message to parents would be to intervene as much as you can as soon as you can," said Petrowski.
"The dying has to stop," said Talbott.
The facility has to be approved by the state's Health and Services Development Agency. That's the group that reviews certificates of need for hospitals.
He hopes to have that approval in the first quarter of 2020. That way TLC Maryville can begin to move into a space in the Wiley Boring building in Maryville sometime later in 2020.