Maine Police Chief’s daughter shares struggles with opioid addiction

By Talia Clarke

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KENNEBUNK, Maine (WMTW) – The daughter of a Maine police chief shares her path from opioid addiction to recovery in hopes of helping fellow Maineers.

“It went from fun to fun so quickly that I got stuck at that point,” said Kaitlin MacKenzie.

She said she started taking prescription drugs after the surgery. She said the drugs were easy to get and she didn’t know she had an addiction until her life turned around the drugs.

“I needed it to have a normal day, to feel good, to go to bed. I needed it for everything, ”said Kaitlin MacKenzie.

Her father is the Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie. He has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years, including serving as an expert in drug detection.

He said his distrust of his daughter had grown, as had his concern.

“As you know, opioids can be fatal, and I have made death reports myself for people who have died from opioid use,” said Robert MacKenzie. “I’ve had many, many sleepless nights fearful that I would be the recipient.”

One day his daughter was arrested.

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

Kaitlin MacKenzie said she didn’t reach her stress limit until the day she took too much.

“I fell to the ground and was paralyzed for a moment, unable to speak,” said Kaitlin MacKenzie. “After that, I only had a moment to realize what am I doing with myself, my family?”

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

“Although I grew up with a great officer and a loving family, I made all of these mistakes,” said Kaitlin MacKenzie. “You don’t have to suffer unless you choose to.”

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

“It is healthy to take responsibility for your own actions,” said Kaitlin MacKenzie.

Robert MacKenzie wants other families to know the importance of having trust and never giving up on someone who is having problems.

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

In the past year, more than 500 Mainers died from drug overdoses, which was a record. Robert MacKenzie said he expected Maine to break that record this year.

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