NASHVILLE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Various landmarks across the state will be lit up in red today, April 27th, as part of the observance of National Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Awareness Day in Tennessee.

The event, sponsored by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/ Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force, and TN Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, will include a reading by Representative Mary Littleton of the DEC Awareness Day Resolution. A lighting ceremony of the Tennessee State Capitol building and the Korean War Memorial Bridge in red will follow.

DATE:                    Wednesday, April 27, 2022

TIME:                    7:00 p.m. Eastern Time

LOCATION:         Legislative Plaza, in front of the Capitol

Other locations across the state will be lit up in red in observance of DEC Awareness Day Wednesday night, including:

*Eiffel Tower – Paris

*Ferris Wheel/ The Island – Pigeon Forge

*Sevier County Courthouse – Sevierville

*Skybridge – Gatlinburg

*TN Aquarium – Chattanooga

*The National Alliance for DEC defines drug endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical, mental, or emotional harm as a result of a parent or caregiver legal or illegal substance misuse. They may also be children whose caretaker’s substance misuse interferes with the caretaker’s ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.

                *1 in 8 children live in households with at least one parent who has a substance use disorder.

                *1 in 10 children live in households with at least one parent who has an alcohol use disorder.

                *1 in 35 children live in households with at least one parent who has an illicit drug use disorder.

*The primary challenge with drug endangered children is in identifying children at risk and coordinating the various systems and disciplines charged with intervening and providing services to these children and families.

*The goal of TN Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (TADEC) is to implement a proactive approach for addressing the needs of our state’s children to prevent exposure to human trafficking and the dangerous drug epidemic. The TADEC approach is to focus on the formation of community-based partnerships to engage professionals from multiple disciplines in developing a collaborative effort to rescue, defend, shelter, and support children living in drug environments.

*Through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program for Opioid Affected Youth Initiative, and additional funding from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, there are now seven drug endangered children response team communities in the state.

*How to help: If you suspect a child is drug-endangered, contact 1-877-866-6384, or to report suspected child abuse and neglect, contact the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services at 1-877-237-0004. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/27/2022-6AM)