Alumnus: A Battle Worth Fighting

Throughout its tangled history, opioids have brought help and hurt through opium, laudanum, morphine and, now, oxycodone. We bought into modern medicine’s tale of pain-free safety through opioids’ latest synthetic version. Instead, we have been caught in the drug’s centuries-old tale.

Tennessee has an estimated 70,000 people addicted to opioids, according to the Tennessee State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Each person exacts a toll beyond his or her own life; drug addiction impacts families, communities and the state.

Yet hope remains.

UT has joined the battle. Students share their stories of loss and educate others. Researchers reach out and help the addicted. Alumni fight back, using their varied platforms. We are helping Tennesseans cut free from the drug’s entanglement and reclaim their lives.

As one of UT’s researchers said, “It is a battle worth fighting.” And we’re in it for all of Tennessee.The fall issue explores how UT researchers, alumni and students are fighting the opioid crisis.

Read the fall issue of Tennessee Alumnus at