Man dies 24 hours after completing Hamilton County Drug Court pr - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man dies 24 hours after completing Hamilton County Drug Court program

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A local man is dead 24 hours after celebrating a victory in his battle with addiction. 

Family members surrounded Logan Whiteaker, 24, Monday night as he graduated from Hamilton County Drug Court. It's a moment that came with a sigh of relief for Whiteaker's mother, Dawn Harrison. 

"I finally knew that I didn't have to get that call. That call that families that have loved ones that are addicted, that one that you don't want to hear, 'Mrs. Harrison, I'm sorry, but.." Harrison said. 

Less than 24 hours later, Harrison got that call. Officials say Whiteaker died of an apparent drug overdose. 

"When we got done eating, he said 'Okay, Mom. I've got some errands I need to run.' I said 'Okay, if you want to come by the house later you can, I love you.' And that was the last time that I saw him," she added. 

His death comes as a shock to many including Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz. He got to know Whiteaker during the drug court program and described him as model participant. 

"He was the best that you could expect out of almost anyone. He was employed, he helped others. He went out of his way to help others. He was kind," he said. 

Despite Whiteaker's success in the program and 18 months of sobriety, experts say the disease of addiction never goes away. 

"They leave treatment with no tolerance but sometimes they still have the same cravings that they had before they came in," Focus Treatment Centers Executive Director Susan Kerr said. 

Kerr said it's that same lack of tolerance that many times leads to death. 

Despite her loss, Harrison is still thankful for what drug court did give her. 

"At least the memories that I have of him or the memories that I never thought I would get to have," she said. 

For more information about Hamilton County's Drug Court Program, click HERE. 

For more information about addiction, click HERE

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