Substance Abuse and Other Programs

The Elam Center at Meharry Medical College has full-time Board Certified Psychiatrists available to meet your needs. Our team comes from diverse backgrounds and uses evidence-based, culturally sensitive treatment options to meet your mental health needs.  The next generation of psychiatrists and resident physicians-in-training receive hands-on experience under the supervision of board-certified psychiatrists. Our team includes registered nurses, licensed professional counselors, licensed alcohol and drug addiction counselors, licensed master social workers, case managers, and other professional staff who understands and respects your need for privacy and confidentiality.

For appointments and patient care, click here to be directed to the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center. 

Substance Abuse Awareness
Meharry Medical College Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in collaboration with College Counseling Services, implemented an ongoing program on substance abuse awareness. Students and faculty can utilize self-administered survey's (DAST and AUDIT-C) to assess their risk for alcohol or drug usage. Both surveys are available for public domain.

Click here for the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST).

Click here for the AUDIT-C.  

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Counseling Services Substance Abuse Initiative assists in making provisions for those seeking help with addictions.


Rainbow Program
The Rainbow Program is a innovative addiction treatment program designed exclusively and specifically for pregnant or post partum women who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.

Alcohol and drug addiction is a progressive disease that progress through predictable stages. We offer trained and licensed professionals that specialize in addiction medicine and pre- and post-natal care.  The Rainbow program offers a variety of treatment programs that meet individual need. Patients receive a comprehensive assessment to determine the proper treatment level of care.

The Rainbow Program recognizes that women who use drugs face different problems during their lives than men. Research indicates that almost 75 percent of these women report histories of physical and sexual abuse. Societal problems often contribute to their poor self-confidence and low self-esteem, leaving them with a feeling of being powerless over their lives. In addition, minority women may face additional challenges of cultural and language barriers that can interfere their treatment and recovery.

The Rainbow treatment program offers a wide range of services to include residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment.  Other wraparound services include:

  • Mental health symptom and medication management
  • Food, clothing, and shelter referrals
  • Transportation
  • Parenting training
  • Family and couples counseling
  • Child care
  • Family planning services
  • Other social services referrals

If you or a love one needs services or suspected of misusing drugs or alcohol, please call:

Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center at Meharry Medical College
Rainbow Program
Samuel R. Scales, LPC-MHSP 615.327.6808 or Sara Evans 615.327.3151


Adolescent Day Treatment (ADT) Program
The ADT program is a state funded 35-day program, which operates from 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. During these hours, teenagers receive anti-drug use education and treatment. The program is open to youth ages 13–18. Transportation is available within a 7-mile radius of the Elam Center.

Contact: Program Manager, 615.327.6704

Adult Continuum
Medical and Social Detox
Intensive residential treatment is provided for clients who are at risk of medical complications during the detoxification process. Length of stay is determined by client need. Clients in Medical or Social Detox are encouraged to enter the Residential Rehab program, or they are referred to an appropriate treatment setting.

Residential Rehabilitation
This program offers intensive residential treatment for 28 days, with group and individual therapy, for clients who are in need of this intervention and have completed the detoxification process. After completing Residential Rehab, clients are encouraged to participate in the Intensive Outpatient Program.

Intensive Outpatient
Group therapy sessions, with individual therapy and limited family therapy, comprise this component of the adult continuum of care.  This program meets from 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., four days a week, thus allowing clients to receive the benefits of participating in treatment while being able to work and care for their families. Services are typically provided for up to eight weeks, depending upon the client's needs. Following completion, clients are encouraged to remain in treatment by attending the weekly Outpatient program.

Weekly Outpatient
Outpatient groups meet once per week to address the needs of clients who are employed, those who have minimal substance abuse issues, and those who have completed a more intensive level of treatment and choose to continue attending groups. Services typically are provided for up to eight weeks, depending upon the client's needs.

Contact: Program Manager, 615.327.3151


C.O.P.E. (Community Outreach Prevention Education)
Project COPE is designed to meet the needs to HIV-infected clients. As a part of our service, Project C.O.P.E. conducts HIV/AIDS educational groups for local schools, churches, businesses, and community organizations. COPE provides transportation, referrals, short-term counseling, and assists with HIV support groups to individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. HIV testing (a twenty-minute oral swab) can be obtained from certified COPE staff during the hours of 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Contact: Program Manager, 615.327.6398


Outpatient Clinics
At the Elam Center, we view therapy as a partnership; clients define the problem areas to be worked on, and we use our expertise to help them produce the changes they want to make. Successful treatment requires active involvement, and a client's best effort to change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We are committed to meeting the needs of the whole persona, and to providing the opportunity for optimal results. The services provided are designed to meet the needs of individuals and/or families that may benefit from outpatient assessment and treatment. Services are recommended based on specific treatment goals.  Recommendations are reviewed with you and may include one or more of the services below:

ADHD Clinic
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-behavioral disorder characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention. Dr. Rahn K. Bailey, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, provides clinical support for ADHD. The primary goal of therapy for ADHD is to decrease disruptive behaviors, enhance academic or vocational performance, improve relationships with family and peers, and promote independence.

Suboxone Clinic
Suboxone is a drug used to treat addiction to prescription pain killers (opioids) like Lortab, Percocet, Oxycontin, or Morphine. Suboxone treats the biological basis of opioid dependence to decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Treatment is office-based and outpatient, which affords each patient maximum privacy and confidentiality. Suboxone is dispensed in convenient, take-home dosages. The medication therapy is paired with group and/or individual therapy, and this combination provides the best possible outcome for each patient.

Other services that the Elam Mental Health Clinic provides:

  • Depression/Anxiety Outpatient Group (Mondays)
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Medication Management
  • Psychological Testing
  • Aftercare and Appropriate Community Referrals


SISTER's Story Program
This daughter program was born out of the mother, the SISTER Program, a nationally acclaimed program that provided case management and other support services to African-American women who were mothers with addiction challenges living in public housing during the peak of the crack epidemic. SISTER's Story provides Outreach, Pretreatment, Case Management, Aftercare and other support services identified by program participants who are African American and other minority women, living in low-income communities and facing life challenges that addiction and other destructive choices create.

The mission of the SISTER's Story program is:

  • To strengthen and empower women in healing, in recovery from chemical dependency to become self-sufficient and productive members of society
  • To validate their story and experiences in order to develop effective models of intervention for recovery
  • To rebuild the whole women mind, body, and spirit, through the power of unconditional Love
  • To assist participants in valuing their Higher Power, their own life, and returning to the lives of their children as a transformed, recovering mother.

Outreach: we meet you where you are—in the community, in the streets, in your home, in jails, in treatment centers . . . wherever you are, SISTER's Story will be there.

Pretreatment: Activities that inform and prepare you for the journey on the road to recovery

Case Management and Case Management Related Transportation: Providing transportation to access recovery related appointments. Helping you to identify and overcome barriers that interfere with your healing and your recovery.

Aftercare: Maintaining your relationship between you and SISTER's Story, as you continue in making positive, healthy choices to stay drug-free.

Family Strengthening Activities: Opportunities for you and your children to participate in trips and activities to build positive experiences and create wonderful stories to share

Contact: Program Manager, 615.327.3184; Peer Counselor, 615.327.6504