Help end the addiction cycle

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My name is Kim McCoy Hill. I’m a nurse in Knoxville, TN and I never imagined that my son’s life would turn out this way. He’s struggled with drug addiction since he was 15 years old. He’s now 28 -- and most recently was addicted to Heroin. 

He’s currently serving time in a Tennessee jail, convicted of a non-violent crime related to his drug use. Across the nation, about two thirds of inmates are dealing with addiction. As with my son, it is a constant cycle for many with addiction: they get in trouble with the law while trying to get money to pay for his habit and go to jail where treatment is unavailable. They are then released, still addicts, and the cycle starts over.

Shortly before this latest trip to jail, he’d hit rock-bottom. He called me from Pittsburgh last October and told me he was tired of his lifestyle. He was ready to get help to kick his habit. He asked for a bus ticket home, which I provided. But I had no resources to pay for private drug treatment and the waiting list for publicly-funded drug treatment is extremely long.

Enough is enough. We have to end the cycle. The only way to do that is to require that inmates get the treatment they need. It’s key to ensuring once released they do not return to prison. We know it’s cheaper to treat addiction than it is to pay for prisoners.

Tell the Tennessee Legislature to help lead the fight against the addiction crisis in our country by making treatment available to any addict who wants it while incarcerated.

The opioid and heroin epidemic is real, folks. I see it in my work as a pediatric nurse. It is affecting families all across Tennessee and all across the nation.

Please sign my petition and help people like my son Jimmy get the treatment they need while in prison.



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