The Meharry Addiction Clinic (MAC) will expand current medication assisted treatment (MAT) services using buprenorphine to provide treatment to homeless individuals through a mobile street medicine addiction clinic; increase emergency department recruitment of recently overdosed patients; and increase recruitment of Black Nashvillians whose rate of fatal overdose has doubled in the past 2 years.
North Nashville, Tennessee where the MAC is located is an area with a poverty rate that is three times the national average, the population is predominantly Black, homelessness is at a five year high, and the average number of nonfatal overdoses per quarter in Nashville is over 250. We will increase recruitment of unhoused individuals by partnering with Nashville's only syringe services program, StreetWorks, to provide a mobile MAT clinic three half days per week, providing brief treatment engagement interventions, primary care services and bridge prescriptions of buprenorphine to the homeless in their community. We will also partner with the Tennessee Recovery Navigators (TRN) Program to increase the number of patients recently experiencing overdose that receive MAT in our clinic. The TRN program utilizes peer recovery specialists to navigate patients from emergency departments to care, and we will provide 80 hours of coverage per week to conduct telehealth intakes with TRN referred patients. Finally, overdose rates for Black Nashvillians have recently doubled, yet treatment entry rates for this population remain flat. The HBCU, Meharry Medical College, the home to the MAC, has provided care to the Black population of North Nashville for nearly 150 years. We will use this history coupled with a partnership with the State of Tennessee's Faith Based Initiatives and the LifeLiners programs to conduct outreach in Black churches and via local radio to reduce stigma regarding drug use and MAT in the Black community of North Nashville. The Director of Faith Based Initiatives, Monty Burks, PhD, will enable our access into local congregations and co-lead anti-stigma workshops. We will also work with LifeLiners, these are individuals in recovery that provide education, treatment linkage and self-help group development, to present the lived experience of drug use and recovery through MAT in these workshops to increase treatment entry in the community.
Since its inception in 2018, the MAC has built a census of over 350 current patients, the majority are homeless (56%) and uninsured (86%). We seek to add an additional 200 patients per year through these outreach efforts or an additional 1,000 patients receiving over the next five years. Our team has extensive experience implementing SAMHSA funded projects, having completed five in the last five years, including a previous MAT-PDOA project. Our evaluation processes are already in place and have led to intake and follow-up numbers well above the national average.