As President Trump declared the opioid epidemic to be a national public health emergency Thursday at the White House, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch and Mallie Moore, an East Tennessee woman who has overcome addiction, stood behind the president.

"Whenever the president and the first lady walked into the room I was like 'Wow, I'm here and this is what I've came to do,'" Moore said about her dream coming true.

Ever since she decided to make a change in her life, she has dreamt of taking her story to the White House.

"The turning point for me was waking up with nothing and nobody and I was pregnant and I thought I lost my children and I had no hope, not one small ounce of hope," Moore said.

MORE: East TN woman to meet with President Trump, share story of addiction and recovery

MORE: Jefferson County sisters fight drug addiction together

If you ask her today, Moore will tell you she's living the life she was meant to live.

"It's wonderful to hear that such power is going to go into all of this and it's going to give us so much opportunity to help others," Moore said about the president's announcement.


Trump said in 2016, at least 64,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses. He said 175 lives are lost every day, which in turn means seven lives are lost every hour.

"No part of our society has been spared this plague, drug addiction. This horrible situation that's taken place with opioids," Trump said.

Along with Moore, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch stood behind the president during the event.

"Opioid addiction is something that is devastating not only to our community, but many communities throughout this country," Rausch said.

Rausch talked about how his officers have saved more than 100 lives by using the life saving drug Narcan.

"We are averaging three to four overdose deaths a week in our community," Rausch said.

He also talked about how this epidemic is personal for him.

"I have two family members who suffer from this. Two children who suffer from this. I'm raising a child who has been exposed to NAS, a 15-month-old baby," he said.

Rausch, Moore and Trump echoed each other by saying this epidemic has no boundaries.

"It has impacted every race, every creed, every color and every economic class," Rausch said.

Trump said together, as a country, we must address the problem.

"We will face this challenge as a national family. With community," Trump said.

For those people wanting so desperately to overcome addiction, Moore said never stop fighting.

"Don't give up. It happens and pray and pray to your God," she said.