Miss Chattanooga speaks to fight addiction
Powell native and Miss Chattanooga Caty Davis wears a crown made of crystals to fulfill her duties, but her real mission for her year of service is addressing substance abuse and addiction problems.
The University of Tennessee senior placed first runner-up to Miss Tennessee over the summer, but her drive for the title is fueled by a desire to end the cycle of addiction.
"I am a daughter of an addict, but I haven't let that define me," Davis said.
Growing up, Davis said her dad dealt with alcohol and opioid addiction and was in and out of rehab and her life.
"I was growing up and succeeding and doing talent shows, and he was missing it," she said.
Ultimately, Davis' father lost his battle with drugs and committed suicide in 2014. She has a family history of addiction going back to her great-great-grandfather, and she wants the cycle to end with her.
As Miss Chattanooga, she speaks on her platform, "Addiction Doesn't Define Me: Empowering Families Affected by Substance Abuse."
"I want to tell people about it because I'm not ashamed of it," Davis said. "I know that my father would want me to tell others about it, and I know that I can make a difference."
Wednesday night, Davis spoke at an event for International Overdose Awareness Day at Volunteer Landing, sharing the personal impact addiction has had on her life through a family member.
As the opioid and addiction problem reaches epidemic proportions in East Tennessee, it's a message Davis hopes to continue spreading statewide if she is named Miss Tennessee in the future.