ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL/ABC-Tri-Cities) A former FBI agent is training local law enforcement and community members to recognize children’s mental health needs and address traumatic experiences.
The technique is called “Trauma-Informed Care.”
The method is another key tool in the battle against opioid addiction.
Former FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze said abusing drugs, like opioids, can be a result of “Adverse Childhood Experiences“, also abbreviated as ACEs.
According to the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition, 70% of those living in the county have experienced at least one adverse child experience.
This is why the group, along with the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library and ReVIDA Recovery Centers invited Freeze to talk to community members about trauma-informed care.
Freeze said, addressing the traumatic experiences of teens who end up in the juvenile justice system can help prevent them from a life of crime as an adult.
“In the federal government- the federal system, we don’t deal with kids until they usually turn 18. So, the goal was how do we keep kids from coming in contact the FBI, the DEA or ATF or any other federal agency,” Former SAC Christopher Freeze said.
Kassahun also spoke with Jilien Reece, who is the director of the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition, which sponsored the program.
Reece said programs educating the public about why someone may abuse drugs are needed to better fight the opioid crisis.