Lightning 100 Interview – Nashville By Nicole

Take 2: Promises Behavioral Health and The Next Door

The pandemic has led to an increase in substance abuse in Middle Tennessee and created challenges for those in recovery. So places like Promises Behavioral Health and The Next Door have adapted adding COVID protocols and more, to get people the help they need especially now during National Recovery Month.

During National Recovery Month, both The Next Door and Promises not only celebrates those in recovery, they also provide virtual activities for understanding and coping with the challenges of recovery for both the individuals and families.

The ways they’ve adapted are helping people heal.

Begin recovery now. Visit Promises Behavioral Health or The Next Door online.

Today’s Take 2 segment was sponsored by Promises Behavioral Health. For Take 2 segments click here.


Segment posted September 10, 2020

CEO Statement on Racism, Diversity, and Current Events

COVID-19 Response

This page includes our most up-to-date program adaptations and organization updates regarding COVID-19. 

The Next Door’s Management Team has created a response plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus within the TND community and to maximize the health and safety of our clients and staff. This plan is evaluated as new information about the virus becomes available.

Until further notice, we have:

  • Implemented pre-admissions phone screening and screening for symptoms upon arrival
  • Implemented a telehealth option for our Intensive Outpatient Program. Call 855-TND-HOPE (863-4673) for more information or to register.
  • Masks are required in all common areas of our facility
  • Suspended acceptance of any used clothing donations. If you still wish to donate, please buy brand new items and have them sent directly to:

The Next Door
402 22nd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37203

The Next Door is currently not providing COVID-19 testing on-site. For more information on this decision, click here.

Please see the following for more information:

Letter from our Medical Director
Letter from our CEO

Opportunity Behind The Next Door

Written by Tracy Korney, Posted November 22, 2019

We all have imperfections we like to hide.

But for those battling drug or alcohol abuse, hiding can destroy lives and families for generations.

33-year-old Jennifer, who asked that we keep her last name private, calls herself a “master hider.”

She says she started sneaking alcohol, cold medicine, and cough syrup at age 11 or 12.

“Yeah, for most addicts, you try whatever you can get your hands on,” said Jennifer.

A car accident at 17 put her on painkillers, the drug that would become her full-fledged addiction.

“So I used that as an excuse for the next 3 years, until I got arrested,” she added.

The courts forced her to enroll in a recovery program as part of her deal.

She says she called multiple recovery centers from jail, but no one would take her calls.

Except one: The Next Door.

“I had a bed date within 10 minutes,” she said. “They answered not just one time, but every time. You do not understand how important that part is, okay, because it starts to rebuild faith in people. And that’s one of the things you lose the quickest. You lose faith in people.”

Amanda Dunlap is The Next Door’s director, a faith-based, multi-story treatment facility on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.

It offers everything from medically monitored detox, to residential and outpatient treatment.

Dunlap first worked as a therapist there for 12 years, then as director for four.

“We’re creating a community for women,” Dunlap said. “They go through the treatment journey together, and they have the same therapist, care manager, nursing staff. The same support staff are working with them from day one.”

Off the lobby sits a sun-drenched chapel.

The center’s key values, such as hope, faith, wholeness, and love, grace the walls.

“Many women walk in the doors feeling that loneliness, so we are wanting to connect them to something that goes way beyond us in this building,” Dunlap added.

“They never let you NOT know you’re cared about here,” said Jennifer. “It has saved my life and given me hope. Everything has changed. You start from learning you are not worthless–not only that you’re not alone, probably the biggest thing–but you have worth.”


Link to full article here.

3 Nashville Organizations We’re Thankful For

Written by Annie Reeves at StyleBlueprint, Posted November 2019

The Next Door

Fifteen years ago, The Next Door was formed as a place to receive women after their release from jail. At the time, there was nowhere else in town where women could turn after incarceration, so for 10 years, The Next Door invited women in, easing their transition. “We named it this because we wanted to be the next door, a good door, that a woman could walk through after leaving a bad one — prison, prostitution, or other struggles,” says Kate McKinnie of The Next Door.

Now, The Next Door has shifted based on the needs of our city, and it offers substance abuse and mental health services to the women of Nashville regardless of their ability to pay. Tennessee has been hit particularly hard by our country’s opioid epidemic. In 2018, surrounding states saw a decrease in their overdose death rates while Tennessee saw an increase. Now, 85% of The Next Door’s patients seek treatment for opioid abuse.

The Next Door offers myriad treatment options — from 30-day inpatient care to an intensive outpatient program. Additionally, they have Freedom Recovery Community, a 21-unit affordable housing community designed for women and their children to have a safe, affordable place to live where they can have access to The Next Door’s programming.

One of the most unique and beautiful things about The Next Door is its staff. Kate tells us that many of the staff members are also alumnae of the program, and the patients are often experiencing some of the hardest moments of their lives. “Sometimes they’ll say, ‘You just don’t understand,’ which is often true.” But, there is an undeniable ease when they’re met with the experience of a staff member who can say, ‘I’ve been in your shoes before.’ It’s powerful,” Kate says.

The Next Door steps in on one of the toughest days of a woman’s entire life — when she has made the courageous step to voluntarily walk through the “next door” to a healthy, sober life. Addiction is a disease that ruins a person’s quality of life and often her will to live, so most of these women have hit rock bottom and are in crisis due to their substance abuse disorder. Last year alone, The Next Door served 1,413 women in some capacity, and their hope is to continue to grow that number as each year passes.

How to Help: “Nearly 90% of our women are mothers. It’s really challenging to be away from their kids during the holidays. We try to make the whole week of Christmas a big celebration. We’re looking to gift 100 travel mugs filled with a $15 gift card to a Walmart, Target, Kroger or fast food restaurants for the holidays. Additionally, it’s a women’s facility, so we need tampons, hairbrushes, socks, basic toiletries, bras and sports bras.” To get involved, email or call (615) 251-8805.


Link to full article here.

Community Leaders Tackle Issue of Opioid Addiction in Pregnant Women

– story by Matthew Torres, News Channel 5
read full story and watch video here

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When it comes to the opioid crisis, pregnant women tend to feel the most vulnerable and stigmatized. However, treatment services are becoming more available to help with recovery, counseling and support.

The Next Door in Nashville held a panel with community partners to discuss addiction and the effects on the unborn child. Experts shared best practices to a room full of people on treating pregnant women with addiction and how to approach their situation without shedding judgment.

“It’s such a huge problem that we wanted to have time to educate and equip the community with resources to let them know what is available,” April Barnes, The Next Door director of outreach told NewsChannel 5.

The panel also had experts from JourneyPure, Vanderbilt Center for Women’s Health and Strongwell. One of the speakers, Dr. Jessica Young, said 60 to 70 percent of the time women want treatment because of their pregnancy.

The Next Door is a treatment center strictly for women 18 and up who are battling addiction, trauma and mental illness. For someone like Kimberly Ladd, the organization was one of a very few, if not, the only service that served pregnant women with addiction several years ago.

Ladd is a mother in long-term recovery who became dependent on opioids nearly a decade ago. She said her daughter needed treatment for heroin addiction, which proved to be tricky.

“Getting her treatment was incredibly and overwhelmingly difficult. We went to ER’s and that wasn’t really the right place to go,” Ladd recalled.

Many pregnant women abusing opioid substances deliver babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a condition in which the baby goes through withdrawals.

Ladd eventually received help and turned her life around to become the director of the Maury County Prevention Coalition. She urged other pregnant women to not be afraid to seek help. Experts worry fear of the unknown tend to prevent women from getting prenatal care.

“A lot of times they’re already addicted when they become pregnant so it’s not easy to stop,” Ladd said. “One of the wonderful things about pregnancy at this time is we can actually leverage the Oxytocin that’s happening in the mom’s brain to get her on a healthy track of recovery.”

In majority of the cases, at least one of the drugs causing NAS was prescribed to the mother by a health care provider, according to the state. Experts say what can be helpful are Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and prescribed medications. The annual NAS state report said the MAT trend indicates that pregnant women at risk of delivering a substance-dependent infant are working with their medical providers to promote a healthy pregnancy. It continued to say reduced access to opioid medications may have also resulted in fewer of these medications being used irresponsibly or made available for diversion.

Tennessee is one of four states most affected by NAS with 15 to 20 cases per 1,000 hospital births, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To help address the problem, Tennessee became the first state to require reporting of NAS. Providers must report all diagnoses of NAS within 30 days of diagnosis. In 2018, Tennessee saw its first decline in NAS rates since recording began six years ago.

The number dropped from 1,096 in 2017 to 927 in 2018, with more boys being diagnosed than girls.

There have been 358 NAS cases in Tennessee since the start of 2019, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. The highest rates of NAS this year happened in the Northeast and Upper Cumberland Health Regions.

Betty Dickens – Board Member Recognition by nFocus Magazine

from nFocus Magazine, written by Holly Hoffman
Photograph by Alex Berger

The Next Door is on track to offer services to more than 1,600 Middle Tennessee women in crisis this year. Fifteen years ago, it opened to meet the needs of transitional housing and support for female ex-offenders, and programs have since expanded to include those impacted by addiction, mental illness and trauma. The organization’s excellence in providing evidence-based programming is empowering clients for lifetime recovery.

“What a blessing it has been in my life to be a very small part of TND’s effort to bring hope and healing to women in crisis!” Betty Dickens says. Actually, her role in its success has been anything but small. She is a founder of the nonprofit and longtime board member, ardently focused on fundraising efforts like annual giving and the inspiring fall luncheon. She and her husband, Marty, even host events in their home for the board, staff and community. Recently, they welcomed a group to hear Sam Quinones, who authored a book about the opioid crisis. At TND, 85 percent of the women are caught in the widespread epidemic. Betty is always there to help because she knows no other organization is as effective in addressing their needs, as well as those of their families,as The Next Door.

The Next Door

The Next Door provides a continuum of evidence-based substance abuse and mental health services for women in an environment of faith and healing to restore hope and a lifetime of recovery.

Johnathan Kayne red floral ball gown (Glitz Nashville); Alex Evenings black evening shawl (Dillard’s at The Mall at Green Hills); White gold and diamond pave earrings, Fred Leighton yellow gold and white topaz necklace (King Jewelers)


News Channel 5 Nashville – Overdose Deaths are Spiking in Rural Counties, but No One’s Sure Why

Our very own April Barnes is in this video, talking about the opioid crisis and what The Next Door is doing to fight it. Click here to watch it.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some rural counties in Tennessee saw a big spike in overdose deaths in 2017, but researchers aren’t sure what caused the trend.

According to Tennessee Department of Health statistics, Cheatham County had an overdose death rate of 61 per 100,000 people. That’s nearly double the rate of deaths in Davidson County.

“Some of the really small counties look like they have high per capita rates because the counties are so small, Dr. Tim Jones, a state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Departement of Health said. “But clearly, Cheatham County is high up on that list.”

Meanwhile, counties like Williamson have lower rates, just 15 per 100,000 people.

Dr. Jones said another factor could be access to addiction treatment. “We would expect to see more overdoses in places where people that are using these drugs can’t get help to get off of them,” Jones said. “Right now, our drug misuse treatment options are really patchy and variable across the state.”

Jones said the number of prescriptions written for opioids is going down in the state, but the number of overdose deaths hasn’t reflected that yet.

TN Faces of Opioids

The TN Department of Health is launching a new publicity campaign this week called The Faces of the Opioid Crisis. They state, “As you all know, Tennessee is among the hardest-hit states when it comes to the opioid epidemic. The story of its impact is often told in numbers:  1,268 opioid overdose deaths in Tennessee in 2017; more than six million painkiller prescriptions in our state in 2018.  But behind the numbers are people – the Tennesseans bearing the devastating impacts of this crisis.”

These stories of these Tennesseans are being shared to put a face on the epidemic and to highlight what people are doing in every county and community of our state to bring it to an end. Each of the 90 counties across the state of Tennessee will have ONE spokesperson known as the FACE of their county, a person with a personal connection to the opioid epidemic.

It is with pride that we share with you that TWO of our amazing TND staff members have been selected for this campaign.

  • Kecia Harris, Family Recovery Specialist, is the FACE of the Opioid Crisis for Robertson County
  • April Barnes, Director of  Outreach, is the FACE of the Opioid Crisis for Cheatham county

Starting soon and over the next year, there will be a state-wide PR effort to spread the word about the deadly disease of opioid addiction and put a “face” to this important issue impacting our state.  Don’t be surprised if you see our very own Kecia or April on billboards, TV commercials, etc., in addition to the signage you see in our lobby today.

Click on this link to read more of Kecia and April’s powerful stories: