Knoxville’s first community recovery center


Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – On February 17, the Metro Drug Coalition will host its “Dopesick: Beyond the Book and Show” panel. The hit Hulu series delves into the opioid epidemic. The panel hopes to offer a fresh perspective in the fight against opioid abuse and learn how a Hollywood series is a reality for our region.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Knoxville’s premier community recovery center called The Gateway. It’s still under construction in North Knoxville, and the Metro Drug Coalition hopes it will be a one-stop hub that brings vital resources to one place.

MDC Director of Recovery Support Services Jason Goodman can imagine what the unfinished center will become.

“As you walk down that main hallway, one of the things that we’re most excited about is that space you’ll enter when you walk through that door. All that open space becomes a conference room that can hold up to 100 people,” points out Goodman.

He accompanied WATE in every room, each with the goal of helping those struggling with addiction achieve long-term recovery.

“This will be our art room. We are planning to have art therapy classes here. Having easels, paper, anything art related in that room,” Goodman explained. “If music is your thing, then this will be the space where you can participate in things like that. We will hopefully have drums, guitars, keyboards, that kind of stuff.

“The idea is to have a safe space where people can connect with others in recovery because we all need each other,” MDC executive director Karen Pershing said. “Especially people in early recovery, you need that element of accountability, you need to be able to recreate in a safe place. We will have things like pool tables and workout equipment because you are replacing negative health behaviors with positive ones.

Construction on the project began over the summer and the goal is to have The Gateway operational by the end of May 2022.

“We hope this can be a one-stop follow-up plan,” Goodman said. “These people coming out of incarceration, coming out of a treatment center, coming out of the hospital, where do I go now to continue a healthy process? We want people to be able to say, “Go to The Gateway.” »

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