Adrian Thacker was born, raised and practices in rural Southwest Virginia, commonly referred to as “coal country”, where the opioid epidemic has had devastating impacts on the community. He was born into a lower to middle-class family with a father and grandfather who worked in the coal industry their entire lives; his mother worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), which taught him to appreciate caring for others. His desire to work in the healthcare field came as the result of injuries sustained from a life-threatening motor vehicle accident when he was 17 He is blessed with a caring and supportive wife, Taryn, with whom he has two wonderful children, Calvin and Benjamin Thacker. In his free time, Adrian enjoys farming with his family, hunting and furthering his knowledge and skills in the field of addictions nursing.
Adrian received his initial college education from Mountain Empire Community College where he received his Associates of Applied Science in Nursing to become a registered nurse. He then completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from King University, followed by Master’s of Science in Nursing from East Tennessee State University to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. He has since focused his training and continuing education in the field of addiction nursing, achieving Certified Addictions Registered Nurse – Advance Practice (CARN-AP) designation through the Addiction Nursing Certification Board (ANCB).
His initial desire to work in the medical field has grown into a passion, as he has dedicated his career as a nurse practitioner to providing quality, compassionate care to individuals who suffer from substance use disorders. He is employed with ReVIDA Recovery Centers in Duffield, Virginia, where he serves as the site medical director. Their team provides quality, evidence-based care to patients who suffer from severe polysubstance use disorders involving opioids, stimulants, sedatives and alcohol.
Some of his noteworthy professional achievements include
– Establishing collaborative partnerships within the community, including a referral system to transition patients to care after being released from incarceration at the Duffield Regional Jail, development of a partnership with the Virginia Department of Health to provide a comprehensive harm reduction program at his practice facility, and initiating processes to develop a successful Emergency Department bridge program.
– Advocacy efforts for persons with substance use disorders involving site visits to community pharmacies to address a lack of pharmacy access, discussions with Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to facilitate the addition of buprenorphine/naloxone tablets to insurance formularies in an effort to increase pharmacy access and attending a meeting with the Virginia Commissioner of Behavioral Health and other community leaders to discuss barriers patients face to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) treatment.
– Chosen to lecture on Medications for Opioid Use Disorder treatment at the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners (VCNP) 2022 conference.
– Autonomous practice nurse practitioner license.