Sept. 1, 2017
He woke up hazy, face plastered against a long aluminum bench, looking up at two campus policemen staring back at him.
A hot sun beat down on Neyland Stadium, which had emptied out hours earlier afterthe Tennessee/Mississippi State game in 1986.
“Where’d everybody go?” Loyd slurred.
The officers laughed — until Loyd vomited, nearly hitting their shoes.
The policemen loaded him into the back of a golf cart, drove him to 1844 Fraternity Park Drive and asked loudly to the other students partying outside: “Does this belong to you?”
Everyone laughed, even Loyd, who 10 minutes later was drunkenly posing for pictures with the policemen.
Loyd knew he was different from most of the other students: When he started drinking, Loyd couldn’t stop until he ran out or passed out. He stopped drinking in medical school.
Today, Loyd is a physician, and Tennessee’s assistant commissioner overseeing the substance abuse services department. That makes him the state’s chief fighter in the war against opioids abuse.
But the ironic twist — Loyd battled a 100-pain-pills-a-day habit after medical school.
“Half of the nights I went to bed I was afraid to close my eyes because I was afraid I would die in my sleep,” he said. “The other half, I prayed I would die in my sleep so it would be over.”
Read the full story in the Tennessean.
Dr. Stephen Loyd is Tennessee’s assistant commissioner for substance abuse services.