Pellissippi State speaker addresses opioid epidemic

Pellissippi State Community College’s student psychology club will address the opiate epidemic in East Tennessee with speaker Neil Morgenstern, a drug prevention coordinator for Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. The public is invited to hear the presentation on April 25 at 1 p.m. at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Morgenstern will show the film “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” and then discuss its main themes. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI co-produced the film, which is a documentary chronicling the lives of several opiate addicts in their fight against their opiate addiction.

Morgenstern is a coordinator with HIDTA, an agency whose mission is to enhance and coordinate drug enforcement efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies within high drug areas in Appalachia. He is a former DEA agent and is part of an area task force battling this epidemic. The task force is comprised of members from the Knoxville Police Department, the DEA, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Knox County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office.

Pellissippi State’s Counseling Services and the Criminal Justice program are co-sponsors of the event. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email