WKRN Article By: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Addiction is sweeping the country and impacting young people every day.

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 25 percent of teenagers who use drugs become addicted before they turn 18.

“Drug addiction is chaotic,” said a former addict at Cumberland Heights in northwest Davidson County.

Addiction is becoming far too normal for people, including teenagers.

“Not all of them have gotten to that point, especially the youth, where they could be addicted, but they are definitely on a path,” said Dean Porterfield, Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Services.

There is no doubt in Alex Booth’s mind that he is a recovering addict. Booth is 28 years old now and once was hooked on pain pills.

“Drinking on the weekends, partying, having fun was all that I really cared about, and it’s not realistic to have that kind of lifestyle,” said Booth.

Booth came to Cumberland Heights years ago. He said without their help, he might not be alive today.

“I was on death’s door when I got to Cumberland Heights. I had a very low heart beat from being on so many depressants for so long,” said Booth.

That is a scary reality for many teenagers and young adults.

“I had pretty much given up and I said, ‘Do whatever.’ I’d follow any suggestion,” Booth told News 2.

A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse says 50 percent of teens have tried alcohol and 40 percent have used some kind of illegal drug by their senior year in high school.

Porterfield said most of the teenagers coming to them are addicted to alcohol and marijuana and headed down a dark path with prescription pain pills.

“We are starting to see teenagers and young adults getting into substances at a faster rate and a more lethal rate,” said Porterfield.

Porterfield said the biggest challenge is making sure teenagers understand the disease and want to get help.

“It’s not uncommon for someone to get to us and have the drug history, substance abuse history of someone that is much older,” explained Porterfield.

That is something Booth said was a huge hurdle for him and others who have hit rock bottom.

“I remember being a teenager and thinking that I had the entire world figured out,” Booth said.

Original Article By: Joanna Sammer

When Nashville-based Cumberland Heights had to address an aging infrastructure for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) on its 11-building campus, it chose a geothermal system. The organization’s experience offers insight into how behavioral healthcare organizations can evaluate and manage the installation of such a system, which arguably has a much greater impact on patient and staff comfort than many realize.

Cumberland Heights opted for geothermal HVAC largely because of its energy efficiency and effectiveness. The system is designed to pay for itself within seven to 10 years through lower energy costs. Based on trends the facility has experienced since the system went online in May 2017, the system will achieve that projection, according to Butch Glover, the organization’s chief operations officer.

Geothermal systems heat and cool interior spaces by taking advantage of the consistent temperatures underground that range between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round, which allows these systems to heat and cool using less energy with more efficiency than conventional heating systems. The systems take advantage of the fact that underground temperatures tend to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than the air above ground. Air and water within the system are easier to heat or cool as they circulate underground then are forced out to heat and cool buildings.

Cumberland Heights, like many treatment centers residing in older buildings, wanted to replace its old HVAC systems largely due to the cost of maintaining them. In addition to creating a more energy efficient system, Glover says that the geothermal system has improved the air quality and humidity levels throughout the buildings. Since the system began running in May, “you can feel the difference the in air quality and that gives patients a more comfortable environment,” says Glover.

How it Works: Geothermal Climate Control at Cumberland Heights
How it Works: Geothermal Climate Control at Cumberland Heights

Preparation is key

The installation of a geothermal HVAC system is a complicated process that can impact many areas of patient care and operations.

1. Prepare staff and patients for the disruption.

Geothermal systems reside underground and take time to install and test. Therefore, behavioral healthcare organizations must be prepared for a lot of digging on site as the installation team puts in the required wells, which can be numerous. For example, Cumberland Heights’ system has 93 wells.

“We didn’t realize how much disruption the work would cause to the campus until it started,” says Russ Taylor, director of support services. “It’s important to remember that there is a lot of mud, noise and machinery that will disrupt normal walking routes and how people get around the campus.”

2. Work with the contractor on scheduling.

While there is no way to avoid some disruption, Glover and Taylor took steps to get everything back to normal as soon as the work was completed at each site. This involved everything from cleaning up to replacing the landscaping that had been removed. They recommend working closely with the contractor to discuss the schedule of work coming up so that staff has ample notice in case they needed to prepare patients for any disruption and move group sessions and meetings to less noisy and more accessible locations.

In addition, behavioral healthcare organizations must prepare the contractors for working in a behavioral healthcare environment. For example, the project had to be managed to ensure that there was no downtime and the campus could operate as normally as possible 24/7.

“The contractors had to keep us in business and realize that we can’t shut anything down,” says Glover. In many cases, that meant that the contractor had to be open to weekend and nighttime work as needed.

3. Ensure the contractor understands confidentiality.

Contractors and subcontractors also had to know how to interact with staff and patients and to understand the need for confidentiality. For example, workers on the project had to be clearly and easily identified. Likewise, workers had to understand how patients might behave if they interacted and how the workers should handle those interactions if they occurred.

4. Work with an architecture or engineering firm to manage the overall project.

An engineering firm can also make sure the work is occurring to specifications. The process for Cumberland Heights also included conditioning and testing the system three times—this past summer, during the coming winter and again next summer—to ensure that the system is working as expected.


NPR: How Drug Combos Are Making Tennessee’s Opioid Problem Even More Deadly

Original By: AMY ESKIND
Posted On: September 25, 2017

NPR: Combining Dangerous Drugs Pushes Tennessee Overdose Deaths To Record High
NPR: How Drug Combos Are Making Tennessee’s Opioid Problem Even More Deadly

The combining of powerful drugs — both purposeful and unintentional — is making Tennessee’s opioid epidemic even more deadly. The latest figures out this month show 2016 was another record year for overdoses in the state — more than 1,600 people died. And experts say risky drug cocktails are compounding the problem.

Emergency responders have answered hundreds of 9-1-1 calls from friends and family members of people who have overdosed. Last year Davidson County lost 261 people to overdose, almost all of them from opiates. On the street, heroin is a cheaper opiate than pills. Many users are looking for whatever will give them the highest high, says recovering addict Mary Barton Lea.

“When I was buying my heroin I said, ‘who’s got the heroin with the fentanyl?’” she says. “That’s the heroin I want.”

Fentanyl is a very strong opiate that magnifies the experience and lasts longer. Experts expect to see more of it coming into Middle Tennessee.

“It’s a sleep-like state, it’s a state that you feel secure,” Lea says. “I’ve read — and I tend to agree with this — it’s almost like kissing God, because it takes you to a place you’ve never been before.”

But that incredible high comes with a physical and mental addiction, Lea says.

“When you come down from that state, all your body says is I want to get back there…You get up there quick, but then there’s a crash and the crash is horrible. The crash is you will do anything within your power to get more.”

Serious addicts like Lea may be willing to flirt with death. Others are simply unaware, says Sam MacMaster. He’s the chief clinical officer at JourneyPure, an addiction treatment provider. He warns that no one can be sure what they’re buying in the illegal market.

How Drug Combos Are Making Tennessee's Opioid Problem Even More Deadly
Sadly, 2016 was another record year for overdoses in the state — more than 1,600 people died. And experts say risky drug cocktails are compounding the problem.

“You would not be able to tell [by] how it looks at all, and that’s the issue,” MacMaster says. “They believe that they’re purchasing typically heroin or sometimes even a pilled opiate but it’s been cut with fentanyl.”

Indeed, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning about counterfeit Vicadin and Oxycotin pills. As with heroin, unscrupulous dealers add fentanyl to give themselves a marketing edge — they’ve got the strong stuff.

But some users are buying the laced drugs unknowingly. They may erroneously think it’s stronger because it’s more pure. The next thing they know, they can’t breathe. Then their heart stops.

“If I believe I’m shooting x-amount of heroin, I may in fact be shooting something that is much more potent. And while I may have a sense of what my body can handle, I’ll have no idea what my body can handle in terms of the fentanyl,” MacMaster says.

Some dealers are even lacing their supplies with carfentanil, a veterinary opiate that can knock out a rhino.

But lethal combinations go beyond various opioids. Users have also been adding prescription anxiety medications, such as Xanax, Valium or Klonopin. Not only is that a doubling up on medications that depress the central nervous system, experts worn there can be a multiplier effect. And it’s hitting teens and young adults hard, especially since many of them already have anti-anxiety prescriptions. Others have painkillers, maybe prescribed for an injury.

“There’s actually prescription parties where kids will have a party and everybody raids the medicine cabinets they can get to, brings them to the party, and then you have whatever you have at that party for people to experiment with,” says Cinde Stewart Freeman, chief clinical officer at Cumberland Heights, an addiction treatment center.

Cole Szabo, adolescent specialist at Cumberland Heights, says the days when kids stuck to beer and marijuana are gone.

“The benzos and opioids are the new gateway drug,” he says. And it’s in the schools. “You’re seeing Xanax, you’re seeing benzos, you’re seeing hydrocodones, oxycodones, Vicodin – you’re seeing that more. The problem with that is, you’re going to die quickly. It’s a quick death, you’re going down fast.”

If administered in time a nasal spray called Narcan that reverses the effects of opiates can save a life. Emergency responders in Nashville have used it on more than 500 people already this year.

But Narcan has no effect on other drugs like anti-anxiety pills, cocaine, or alcohol, so combination overdoses can still prove lethal. That was unfortunately the case for Max Barry, the son of Nashville’s mayor, who could not be revived with Narcan, and died over the summer in Colorado with much more than opiates in his system.


Original Article By: MICHAEL CORKERY, NY Times
Date: SEPT. 15, 2017

As drug addiction soars in the United States, a booming business of rehab centers has sprung up to treat the problem. And when drug addicts and their families search for help, they often turn to Google.

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety

But prosecutors and health advocates have warned that many online searches are leading addicts to click on ads for rehab centers that are unfit to help them or, in some cases, endangering their lives.

This week, Google acknowledged the problem — and started restricting ads that come up when someone searches for addiction treatment on its site. “We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision,” Google spokeswoman Elisa Greene said in a statement on Thursday.

Google has taken similar steps to restrict advertisements only a few times before. Last year it limited ads for payday lenders, and in the past it created a verification system for locksmiths to prevent fraud.

In this case, the restrictions will limit a popular marketing tool in the $35 billion addiction treatment business, affecting thousands of small-time operators.

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety

“This is a bold move by one of the world’s biggest companies, saying people’s lives are more important than profit,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction, a nonprofit group that is an advocate for people struggling with addiction.

Many rehab centers, a large number of which are clustered in warm climates like Florida, Arizona and California, rely on Google searches to attract patients from across the country. Their strategy often included buying an ad that would come up when someone searched for phrases like “drug rehab” or “alcohol treatment centers.”

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads

As of this week, Google has stopped selling ads related to those searches, although it may lift the restriction if it can find a way to weed out misleading advertisements.

Search ads for addiction treatment are lucrative. Treatment providers, in some cases, have been willing to pay $70 per ad click, according to an analysis that Mr. Williams’ group conducted and presented to Google executives.

But the payoff for those clicks can be significant. Addicts who sign up for 30 days of residential treatment can bring in tens of thousands of dollars from private insurance.

The crucial, if unwitting, role that Google has played in the treatment industry exposes the deep flaws in how drug addicts are cared for in America. Despite the rapid growth in the number of addiction cases — and the Trump Administration’s declaration that the opioid crisis is a national emergency — the treatment industry remains a hodgepodge of upstart businesses, with only a few well-known providers.

What constitutes treatment is also all over the map, from yoga and equine therapy to daily doses of medication. And unlike other serious illnesses, like cancer or heart disease, where a physician typically refers the patient for treatment, many addicts and their families look for help on the internet.

That has made Google one of the largest referral sources for treating a disease that affects millions of Americans. And the companies willing to the pay the most for ads are the one that addicts are most likely to see on their search.

But ad-driven searches, according to advocates and law enforcement officials, have not always led patients to the best care. In some cases, they have found that patients are being duped, a phenomenon Google on Thursday acknowledged.

Last December, a Florida grand jury released a report detailing abuses in the state’s addiction treatment industry, which is centered around Palm Beach County. Among the findings, the grand jury zeroed on the problems with how some of the shoddy programs were being marketed online.

One witness, according to the grand jury report, described how “online marketers use Google search terms to essentially hijack the good name and reputation of notable treatment providers only to route the caller to the highest bidder.”

Another common trap: Addicts search Google for a rehab program close to their home, but they will click on an ad for a referral service pitching treatment in another state. The referral service then collects a fee, if they signed up.

Google’s restrictions were cheered by health officials, who have called for more medically based treatment. “People don’t always know what good treatment is,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was surgeon general in the Obama Administration and published a oft-cited report last year that warned of the nation’s addiction crisis. “I am glad Google took steps to prevent the spread of these false ads.”

In targeting the ads for addiction treatment, Google consulted with experts including Mr. Williams, who himself has been in recovery for many years. He said he began discussions with Google executives around the time that Dr. Murthy released his report.

Mr. Williams said that he had explained to Google that his own experience trying to buy ads from the company had illustrated how the process of finding information about addiction treatment online was providing people with unreliable information. Mr. Williams said he discovered this when his group received a grant from Google that would help him buy ads promoting a website providing information about community based treatment — and found he couldn’t compete.

Buying ads on Google involves bidding to place your ad at the top of the search results when a user types in words relevant to your product or service. But Mr. Williams found that the bid prices for words related to treatment had gotten so expensive that his group couldn’t pay as much as the for-profit treatment providers. Some of those treatment providers, Mr. Williams told Google, were not only misleading, they had been charged with crimes.

In a series of phone calls and a meeting in Washington, D.C., Mr. Williams presented the company his research. He highlighted that some of the biggest buyers of ad words related to treatment had been accused of misdeeds related to insurance fraud and sexual assault.

“We stumbled upon this issue organically,” said Mr. Williams. “And they heard us out.”


A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2017, on Page B5 of the New York edition with the headline: In Rare Move, Google Imposes New Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Saftey.

04/21/2017 Original Article by

MusiCares Hosts Addiction Recovery Panel That Will Include Bad Company's Simon Kirke
By: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke photographed at Grant Gallery on Jan. 19, 2006 in New York City.

Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke will join a MusiCares panel dedicated to treating artists and other music professionals who’ve become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Kirke, who works closely with Road Recovery, an organization that uses musicians to mentor teens battling addiction, will take part in “Plugged In…Treating The Music Professional and Leading Them Toward a Lifetime of Recovery.” The luncheon and discussion will take place beginning at 11:30 am on April 27 at the BMI/New York offices, located at 7 World Trade Center.

 

“We want managers, A&R people and musicians to come to this so that they can learn to recognize the signs of addiction so that they can act to help a fellow band member or an artist they’re working with before it gets bad,” says Neil Lasher, a consultant in promotions and artist relations at Sony/ATV Music Publishing and a certified interventionist, who will moderate the panel of intervention and recovery experts.

 

Those scheduled to take part include Dr. Chapman Sledge, the chief medical director of Cumberland Heights, a Nashville-based non-profit alcohol and drug treatment center; Miles Adcox, the CEO and owner of Onsite, a dependency treatment center that’s also located in Nashville; Paul Gallant, a Master’s level licensed professional counselor, Certified Intervention Professional and founder of Primary Recovery Services in Greenwich, Conn.; Gene Bowen the founder of Road Recovery and Gregg Allman’s former road manager; and MusiCares vice chairman Michael McDonald, the founder and CEO of Mick Management, which represents Maggie Rogers, Hamilton Leithauser and Sharon Van Etten.

 

Lasher, who has been in recovery for 30 years — and who, in 1997, played a leading role in establishing the MusiCares Safe Harbor Room (a sober backstage area at the Grammy Awards that is set up every year) — tells Billboard that, given the epidemic of opioid abuse and over-prescription in the United States, the panel is intended as a preventative measure.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), the number of overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids, has quadrupled since 1999 and claimed more than half a million people between 2000 and 2015. On April 21, 2016, Prince died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, and Lasher says, “Of all my years going to 12-step meetings, I see more people with double-digit [years of] sobriety to their credit, [relapse] because of over-prescribed opioids.”

 

Although there is no evidence that the music industry has been more affected by opioid abuse than other business sectors, McDonald says musicians can be more susceptible to addiction in general because “they are often tortured souls. They often don’t fit into the 9-to-5 mold, and they like emotional unrest and the highs and lows,” which they can channel into their art.

 

When it comes to intervention and recovery, working with musical artists also tends to be more complex, says Gallant. “Normally, when I’m coordinating an intervention, I’ll talk to five people,” he explains. “With an artist, there could easily be a dozen: You’ve got family, the record company, management, the artist’s publicist and other band members and their family. And while some of those people genuinely care about the guy, others see him as a paycheck… that can get challenging in terms of clinical recommendations versus business obligations.”

 

The panel and luncheon are free, but seating is limited. See the flyer below for additional information.

MusiCares Hosts Addiction Recovery Panel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A hard hit can do more than just knock the wind out of a player on the field. It can leave them with an injury requiring medical attention and possibly pain medication.
“Sports are probably the leading cause of injury in kids but I think it is important to understand that sports in general are protective,” Dr. Alex Diamond said. “We know kids who play sports compared to kids who don’t are typically less likely to be involved in risky behaviors.”

 
High school sports injuries can lead to addiction depending on treatmentDr. Diamond is an assistant professor of Orthopedics and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is also the team physician for Vanderbilt University, Nashville Predators and the Nashville sounds. He along with the other physicians at in his department treated 26,000 adult and children athletes in 2016.
“As physicians we need to be mindful when treating children with injuries what situation require pain medication and what situations can be handled without pain medication,” he said. “Most of them can be handled without pain medications.”

 
Pain medications like hydrocodone, oxycodone and other opioids can be very effective in treating chronic pain. But, they can also be addictive and lead to more illicit drugs like heroin.

 
At Cumberland Heights, a non-profit addiction treatment facility, the number of teens entering the facility’s Adolescent and Young Men’s Services department has grown so much in the past couple of months it is expanding to keep up with the need.

 
“We take kids from all over the country,” Director of Adolescent and Young Men’s Services Dean Porterfield said. “The primary diagnosis is substance abuse, but It is not uncommon though that the underlying issues once you take those substances away are anxiety, depression or trauma.”

 
According to Porter for the 18 year old to 25 year old age group that makes up the Young Men’s program a growing number are addicted to heroin.

 
“A notable factor with the young adult population that we serve is that several of them are athletes who have experienced high school or college sports injuries that have required surgery and have become addicted to painkillers.”

 
He continued, “When the painkillers run out or they become more expensive the more accessible affordable drug is the heroin. That replaces what used to be that passion for sports and athletics and now their primary goal is to drug seek.”

 
Porterfield said with heroin it is not uncommon for the treatment center to get a call from family or the patient themselves saying they are in route for immediate admission to the facility.

 
“They are also some of the most vulnerable patients and need a great deal of attention throughout the painful detox and early days of treatment to prevent them from leaving against medical advice,” he said. “One of the things Cumberland Heights clinicians have made a priority is educating these young men on the risks of relapse and the lethal dangers associated with resuming the volume of heroin use they came in handling with the assumption their tolerance level is the same.”

 
He continued, “This scenario increases the likely hood of a lethal overdose.”

 
At Cumberland Heights the process is based on the 12-Steps.

 
After detox the work begins to help the young men understand the underlying reasons they abused drugs. In many cases its tied to the emotion effect their injury had on them and their identities.

 
“Just being an adolescent adult in general is full of ups and downs,” Porterfield said. “When they realize this substance can help alleviate that, they get hooked pretty quick.”
The same progression from painkillers to heroin and stronger opioids is much the same in adult users.

 
According to the CDC Tennessee is one of the most overprescribed states for painkillers.

 
At one point doctor’s wrote more prescriptions for painkillers than there were people in the state.

 
“As physicians we need to be mindful when treating children with injuries about which situations require pain medication and what situations can be handled without pain medication,” he said.

 
“We have a lot of other options that don’t have the same complications and risk involved with addiction.”

 
Dr. Diamond said things like physical therapy, proper braces or casts and anti-inflammatory medications can be very effective.

 
“As a parent you need to be diligent on what pain medication your kids are getting,” he said. “For the most part the narcotic pain medication is not needed for what we are seeing in our children. It is very rare.”

 
Porterfield said parents should be involved in their teens lives take note if you start to notice missing money, missing prescription medication, if your child is hanging out with friends or in places you do not know, and if your child attends unsupervised parties.

 


Original Article: Green Hills News, Staff Writer, David Smith – February 22, 2017

Beloved Long-Haul Driver Bequeaths Home to Cumberland Heights Addiction Treatment Center
Beloved Long-Haul Driver Bequeaths Home to Cumberland Heights Addiction Treatment Center
A retired bus operator let it be know that upon his death he wanted to donate his home.

But Timothy Cotton, a retired bus operator who drove for major country music stars Tim McGraw, Conway Twitty, Alan Jackson, Kathy Mattea and the country music group Lonestar, also had a more pointed message: he wanted the success he achieved in life to be a tool for people needing help.

The home at Setliff Place in East Nashville sold this January generating $285,000, all of which was donated to Cumberland Heights, an addiction treatment center.

“This home holds a special place in our heart,” said Mallory Gibson, who, along with her husband, purchased the home. “Our family also lives on Setliff Place and we will now be able to raise our children within walking distance of each other. Tim was deeply committed to his family and his community, and we look forward to honoring that legacy in this beautiful home.”

Following the transaction, Cumberland Heights announced the creation of the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance. The fund is part of Cumberland Heights’ endowment and will provide financial assistance to patients who cannot afford treatment or do not have insurance to cover costs.

Cotton was himself a patient on a MusiCares scholarship.

“Tim Cotton was a generous soul who loved caring for others,” said Jay Crosson, chief executive officer at Cumberland Heights. “His incredible donation and the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance will help many, many people recover their life from drug and alcohol addiction. Tim’s memory will live on at Cumberland Heights in perpetuity.”

Cotton was renowned for his ability to make friends. He touched so many people in the Nashville recovery community that they organized aftercare meetings in his hospital room so he did not have to miss meetings.

After his death, Cotton’s sister Cathy Reisch, received numerous calls from former Cumberland Heights’ patients who had met Tim Cotton during treatment and were touched enough to call with condolences.

“The Cotton family is grateful to Bill Branch and Life Style Real Estate Advisors. Bill did more than donate his commission – he put his heart into this task, was very supportive to our entire family and dedicated a lot of time to make this sale happen for all the parties involved,” said Reisch.

Bill Branch of Life Style Real Estate Advisors served as broker and donated his commission because proceeds were being donated to Cumberland Heights.

Branch describes the experience as follows: “Tim Cotton loved his family, his home, and his neighborhood.”

Having worked with Cumberland Heights on several other real estate transactions to support their mission, it was immediately apparent to me that this was a very special situation. After meeting Tim’s sister Cathy Reisch for the first time, I wanted to be a part of helping to make Tim’s dreams and wishes for his home come true. We had two goals from the start: to raise as much money for Tim’s endowment to Cumberland Heights as possible through the sale of his home, and do as much as possible to find new stewards for the property that would love the home and the neighborhood as much as Tim did. On both counts, we succeeded beyond our hopes, and there will be many people benefiting from Tim’s beautiful heart and enormous generosity for years to come.”

Cotton was the 1991 Honoree for the Mary Catherine Strobel Award as Volunteer of the Year from Nashville CARES and trained HIV/AIDS volunteer.

Beloved long-time driver for music acts willed East Nashville home to Cumberland Heights

cumberland-heights-sets-up-the-timothy-cotton-fund-for-patient-assistance
Timothy Cotton

Cumberland Heights announces the creation of the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance that was made possible by sale of Tim Cotton’s home on Setliff Place in East Nashville.

Cotton was a former Cumberland Heights patient and long-time driver for many musical acts, including Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Lonestar, Kathy Mattea and Conway Twitty.

Cotton passed away in January 2016 and willed his Setliff Place home to Cumberland Heights. The home sold in January 2017. In total, the sale of Cotton’s home generated $285,000, all of which was donated to the fund.

“Tim Cotton was a generous soul who loved caring for others,” said Jay Crosson, chief executive officer at Cumberland Heights. “His incredible donation and the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance will help many, many people recover life from drug and alcohol addiction. Tim’s memory will live on at Cumberland Heights in perpetuity.”

The fund is part of Cumberland Heights’ endowment and will provide financial assistance to patients who cannot afford treatment or do not have insurance that covers costs. Cotton was himself a patient on a MusiCares scholarship, so his gift back is especially meaningful.

“This home holds a special place in our heart,” said Mallory Gibson, who purchased this home with her husband. “Our family also lives on Setliff Place and we will now be able to raise our children within walking distance of each other. Tim was deeply committed to his family and his community, and we look forward to honoring that legacy in this beautiful home.”

Cotton was renowned for his ability to make friends. He touched so many people in the Nashville recovery community that they organized aftercare meetings in his hospital room so he did not have to miss meetings. After his death, Cotton’s sister Cathy Reisch received numerous calls from former Cumberland Heights’ patients who had met Tim during treatment and were touched enough to call with condolences.

Cotton was the 1991 Honoree for the Mary Catherine Strobel Award as Volunteer of the Year from Nashville CARES and trained HIV/AIDS volunteer.

Bill Branch of Life Style Real Estate Advisors served as broker donated his commission because proceeds were being donated to Cumberland Heights.

Branch describes the experience as follows: “Tim Cotton loved his family, his home, and his neighborhood. Having worked with Cumberland Heights on several other real estate transactions to support their mission, it was immediately apparent to me that this was a very special situation. After meeting Tim’s sister Cathy Reisch for the first time, I wanted to be a part of helping to make Tim’s dreams and wishes for his home come true. We had two goals from the start; 1) to raise as much money for Tim’s endowment to Cumberland Heights as possible through the sale of his home, and 2) do as much as possible to find new stewards for the property that would love the home and the neighborhood as much as Tim did. On both counts, we succeeded beyond our hopes, and there will be many people benefiting from Tim’s beautiful heart and enormous generosity for years to come.”

Cathy Reisch, said, “The Cotton family is grateful to Bill Branch and Life Style Real Estate Advisors. Bill did more than donate his commission – he put his heart into this task, was very supportive to our entire family and dedicated a lot of time to make this sale happen for all the parties involved.”

By: Mary Beth McCauley, Staff Writer at University of Tennessee Daily Beacon Feb 9, 2017 — Updated Feb 13, 2017

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour

Knoxville (Tennessee) had the chance to get up close and personal with Justin Furstenfeld, the lead vocalist of alternative rock group Blue October, at the Square Room in Market Square this past Wednesday.

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld's unique approach to his book tour
People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour and his story of recovery

Furstenfeld has been traveling to cities across the country to promote his book, “Crazy Making: The Words and Lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld to the Music of Blue October.” The “Open Book Tour” also gives Furstenfeld the opportunity to share stories regarding his struggle with addiction, depression and relationships along with playing an acoustic set in front of a small, intimate audience.

He kicked off the evening with “The Answer,” the title track of Blue October’s first album, and began to tell the audience about his own personal journey, starting with his teenage years. Furstenfeld led his first band called The Last Wish at only 15 years old, the age that he was officially diagnosed with depression. When the Last Wish split up, Furstenfeld went on to create Blue October.

Although Furstenfeld was raw and honest with the crowd, he told his stories with such charisma and humor that throughout the heartfelt details we were all laughing and smiling. He often reminded the crowd, “This is the open book tour. No holding back.” The auditorium felt like a room full of friends, a safe space to share their darkest secrets.

Furstenfeld played a few other songs from Blue October’s debut album, such as “Black Orchid” and “Breakfast After 10.” In these, the audience learned of his first love, Mamie, and how he forgot her birthday after two years of dating. His belated birthday song to her was “Calling You,” the song that scored Blue October a record deal.

He told the audience about his band’s first 15-passenger tour van — and their second one, and their third. He walked us down the path that began his drug addiction, partying on tour every night in hotel rooms and bars. During this same time, Furstenfeld met his first wife and had his first child, a baby girl named Blue, and that changed everything for him. The audience sat quietly absorbing every detail and feeling every emotion as he told his story.

He bravely shared the details of his divorce, the custody battle for his daughter and his spiral back into addiction. And, through all of these hardships, he continued to make music.

Furstenfeld pieced together all of the major events in his life one by one and sang us the songs that stemmed from those events, making them even more meaningful and emotional for the audience, many of which were already huge fans of Blue October.

Towards the end of the evening, Furstenfeld shared his redemption story. He went through a 75-day program at Cumberland Heights, a rehabilitation center in Nashville, and found his faith there. He has been sober for four years now. The audience cried, clapped and cheered for him, all rising to their feet in applause. Furstenfeld truly was an open book, and told his story bravely without shame, but with hope.

After the show, Furstenfeld took time to meet his fans, shaking hands and signing posters, all with a smile on his face. His merchandise sports the phrase “People Can Change,” the perfect summary of his journey thus far.

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