Following the organizational structure of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (NADEC), the Tennessee Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (TADEC) became operational in 2006. The original focus of the TADEC was on Tennessee children found in homes being utilized as clandestine methamphetamine labs. The national protocol at that time declared that immediate medical evaluation was of the utmost importance for these children due to the toxicity of the chemicals involved in making meth. Utilizing the national protocols as a guide, the TADEC was instrumental in development of local protocols for first responders, law enforcement, children and family services, drug coalitions, medical personnel and others responding to meth lab scenes where children were present.
As the number of clandestine meth labs in Tennessee decreased due to law enforcement and community efforts along with the influx of availability of Mexican meth and other narcotics, the focus of the TADEC expanded to include children endangered in all drug environments. The mission evolved to Serve, Protect, and Defend all children endangered by illegal drug use in Tennessee.
Members of the original TADEC Board were representative of the many state, local and federal agencies wanting to address the tremendous problem Tennessee was experiencing because of the meth lab epidemic. With retirements and displacement of the original TADEC Board over the years, the organization had become somewhat inactive. Through leadership provided by the Executive Board of the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force, a recent invigoration of the TADEC has come with the addition of a Coordinator position and several newly appointed TADEC board members. Current board membership includes local and state representation from prevention, treatment, law enforcement, military, child and family services, medical, judiciary, state and federal prosecutors, and drug coalitions.
TADEC is passionately committed to protecting the drug endangered children of Tennessee by generating a renewed collaboration of resources from multidiscipline organizations and jurisdictions in the responsibility of protecting these children. Oftentimes drug endangered children are left to fend for themselves and the TADEC is committed to providing these at risk children an opportunity to be protected from an environment which they have done nothing to cause and from which they should have some recourse.
The goal of the TADEC is to educate and bring awareness to all citizens of Tennessee on what we can do collectively to protect the children affected by drug environments. Through education and awareness, we must join with local disciplines to provide an avenue for these children to grow and prosper in communities where the drug culture is not prevalent. The TADEC is committed to joining together with all disciplines to ensure the drug endangered children of Tennessee have every opportunity to succeed and thrive in a drug-free environment.
If you have any questions about the TADEC or involving the TADEC in your local community, please contact Tabitha Curtis, TADEC Coordinator, at (931)636-9087, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the TN Dangerous Drugs Task Force Office at (423)752-1479.