Opioid Epidemic is Personal for Oliver Springs Police Chief
Oliver Springs Police Chief Kenneth Morgan is the third top law enforcement officer in East Tennessee who is sharing their story of addiction hitting too close to home.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch has spoken several times about raising a baby born with NAS, and Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton has a son who is battling addiction.
Morgan says nearly every criminal his department deals with is motivated by addiction, but there's one person in particular making this fight so personal for him.
"That demon hooked her and it was hers to fight," Morgan said about his youngest daughter, Caitlin, who is addicted and in jail.
According to her father, Caitlin's addiction started with a prescription for an ankle injury.
"She's now 25-years-old and had been in and out of jail since 2012," Morgan said.
He said she tried rehab, but it didn't stick. His own department arrested her and charged her once with burglary. She is now in the Anderson County Jail. Morgan believes she will be there for several years.
"Right now with the shape she is in, that's a good place for her, it's a safe place," he said.
He believes jail is the best place for her because she has overdosed several times.
"One of the last times they had to do CPR on her to bring her back and like I say, sometimes nothing has clicked yet to do what it needs to do," he said.
For now, it's an every day battle for his daughter.
"This is something she is going to fight for the rest of her life. This is something she is never going to get over," Morgan said.
He can only hope she will realize there is a life worth living free of addiction. It's a life she used to have.
"I've not run into any people that didn't like her. She's just that type of person. She got a hold of something that got a better hold on her," he said.
Morgan has armed his officers with the life saving drug naloxone. With help from the Allies of Substance Abuse Prevention in Anderson County, also known as ASAP, he hopes to have the nasal spray Narcan soon to help save lives.