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Maine police chief's daughter shares struggles with opioid addiction - kuna noticias y kuna radio

By Talia Clarke

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    KENNEBUNK, Maine (WMTW) — The daughter of a Maine police chief is sharing her journey from opioid addiction to recovery in hopes of helping other Mainers.

“It was so fast from fun to not fun anymore that I was trapped at that point,” Kaitlin MacKenzie said.

She said she began using prescription drugs after surgery. She said the drugs were easy to get and she wasn’t aware she had an addiction until her life began to center around the drugs.

“I needed it to have a normal day, to feel okay, to get in bed. I needed it for everything,” Kaitlin MacKenzie said.

Her father is Kennebunk Police Department Chief Robert MacKenzie. He has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years, including as a drug recognition expert.

He said his suspicions grew about his daughter, as well as his concern.

“As you know, opioids can kill, and I myself have done death notifications for people that have passed away because of opioid use,” Robert MacKenzie said. “I had many, many sleepless nights where I was afraid I was going to be on the receiving end of that.”

One day, his daughter was arrested.

“I was relieved because I knew at that point she really couldn’t deny it anymore,” Robert MacKenzie said.

Kaitlin MacKenzie said she did not hit her breaking point until the day she used too much.

“I fell to the floor, and I was kind of paralyzed for a moment, couldn’t talk,” Kaitlin MacKenzie said. “After that, I just had a moment of realization, like, what am I doing to myself, my family?”

She is now in recovery and hopes to share her experience with others to help them overcome addiction.

“Even growing up with an amazing officer and a loving family, I still made all those mistakes,” Kaitlin MacKenzie said. “You don’t have to suffer unless you chose to.”

She said there are resources available for people seeking to break the cycle of addiction.

“It’s healthy to take on the responsibility for your own actions,” Kaitlin MacKenzie said.

Robert MacKenzie wants other families to know it is important to have faith and to never give up on someone who is struggling.

“My daughter, obviously I love her, but to see where she’s at now, I just couldn’t be any more proud of her,” Robert MacKenzie said.

Last year, more than 500 Mainers died of a drug overdose, which was a record. Robert MacKenzie said he expects Maine to shatter that record this year.

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