New Tennessee Tobacco Retailer Quick Reference Guide

In an effort to curb underage alcohol and tobacco use, Tennessee has issued a new driver’s license for vehicle operators under the age of 21 that will be vertical instead of the horizontal licenses that drivers currently carry. The new cards will be disseminated by July 2018, and licenses of current license-holders of legal age won’t change.


Tennessee is the 48th state to adopt this policy, hoping the vertical orientation will cause underage alcohol and tobacco seekers’ licenses to be easier to spot in retail stores as opposed to needing to closely examine the birth date or see the red bar on current underage licenses.



With the partnership of The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Power of Putnam was able to help design a helpful Quick Reference Guide.  If you would like a  laminated Tennessee Tobacco Retailer Quick Reference Guide or would like a training for your clerks please contact Jennifer Matthews, Assistant Director for Power of Putnam at



Retail Education



Power of Putnam Youth Thrive Ambassadors hand delivered Tn driver license ID coders, guide books and warning it’s illegal to sale alcohol to minors window clings to 21  local retail stores on July 3rd. If you store is interested in free ID guide books, coders or an education class please contact Jennifer Matthews at


Tennessee Teen Institute

Power of Putnam Youth Thrive Ambassadors joined 490 youth leaders from across the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute. The Tennessee Teen Institute is a five-day youth leadership and prevention camp. Teens are given a unique opportunity to have a “voice” in addressing issues important to them which is one of the key factors in the success of enforcing a substance free lifestyle.

Power of Putnam Sticker Shock

Power of Putnam Youth Thrive Ambasadors and alcohol retailers partnered together before Prom to conduct their annual Sticker Shock Campaign. With these sectors partnering, we’re creating a message for adults and youth to know it is illegal to provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21 or for a minor to use a fake ID or purchase alcohol.

We would like to thank these individual stores for their partnership for Prom Sticker Shock


T-Mart on Washington
Crown Wine and Spirit
Bread Box
Happy Hour
Shell’s corner of Willow and Spring St.
Beverly Hill Market


Baxter Bi-Rite
Beer & Cigar Emporium


Citgo Convenient Mart
The Spigot
Monterey Quick Stop

Rx Takeback

Count It!

Count your pills once every two weeks. This will prevent theft and ensure that medications are taken properly.

Lock It!

Lock up your medications and store them in a place that others would not think to look.

Drop It!

Drop off unused/expired medications:

Algood Police Department
215 W Main St, Cookeville, TN 38506

Cookeville Police Department
10 E Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501

Monterey Police Department
302 E Commercial Ave, Monterey, TN 38574

Putnam County Sheriff’s Department
421 E Spring St, Cookeville, TN 38501



Our “Why” at Power of Putnam

In 2009 Simon Sinek spoke a wonderful 18 minute Ted Talk segment entitled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. As of this writing Simon’s talk has enjoyed 10,216,984 views on the Ted site and countless more on other sites where it is now posted. What he tells us is that great leaders and organizations start with their “WHY” and then build out their how and what and when. This is an excellent inspirational concept that led to his book entitled “Start With Why”.

Some six years before Simon Sinek’s groundbreaking work Paula King, John Rust and a handful of concerned Putnam Contains’ were at work cultivating their own “why” which would become Power of Putnam. For those interested in becoming a part of this movement it is good to first understand our “why” . . . why we are here, why we do this.

The “why” was pretty clear for Paula and John and after ten years of growth our why is still clear to us. In 2003 a methamphetamine epidemic was ravaging many lives. We had seen all kinds of drug challenges but nothing like this. Children by the hundreds were coming out of deadly toxic homes and straight into state custody and foster care. Removed from contaminated homes these kids were not allowed to take anything with them . . . no teddy bear, no book, not even the clothes they were wearing. Many meth addicted parents were not even trying to get their kids back. The next hit of meth seemed way more important. The foster care system in Tennessee was buckling under the load. Our WHY was (and still is) that we are people who cannot stand by and watch the toll drugs and underage drinking are taking on the lives of our children and families and not try to do something about it. People are hurting and dying. That drives us to act. The first project was creation of care packages for these “meth” children. Instead of nothing they would immediately have books, and clothes and snacks and coloring books and some toys and yes a teddy bear they could hold onto through the process.

Ten years of growth have given us many new tools as well as many new challenges. At the center of it all our why remains that we simply can’t know what we know and not work to bring change. Our current epidemic is prescription narcotic addiction. This one in many ways is even worse than meth. We know meth is a killer. Pain killers seem safe. After all they are approved by the FDA and distributed by doctors, and they kill pain right? Nobody wants any pain. But the truth is narcotic pain killers kill people too, good well meaning people, moms and dads, teachers and students, our neighbors. Narcotic overdoses have now flown past car crashes as a cause of death in Tennessee. Narcotic addiction is every bit as real as meth addiction and can come just as quickly.

Meth addiction comes from the bad choice to use an illegal drug. Narcotic addiction can begin much more subtly and innocently with the need to deal with some kind of pain, directions from a doctor and medicine from a pharmacy. Both end in loss of health, family, careers, all too often life itself. Power of Putnam’s why is that we can’t know this and watch this happen and not do our best to change it. If you share this why please come join us. Hit that “get involved” link up at the top right now. Together we CAN make a difference. If you are already with Power of Putnam bring a friend. To end on a positive note we are making progress. Our efforts are being recognized as frontline best practices. I look forward to sharing more about this in my next post. Join us!​

Until then

TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
For information and referrals concerning addiction issues please call the
Tennessee REDLINE number @ 1-800-889-9789
This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

This website was developed in part under grant # SP021017-04 from the office of national drug control policy and substance abuse services and
mental health services administration, U.S. Department of health and human services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHRA or HHS.

Empowering Individuals


Strengthening Families


Promoting Resiliency

(931) 520-7531

25 West Broad St. Suite 9 Cookeville, TN 38501

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