Indianapolis, Indiana: Overdose Lifeline, Inc. founder and executive director Justin Phillips was invited to provide testimony at the November 1, 2017 President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis by Chairman and Governor Chris Christie. For an organization that has been on the front lines of the opioid public health crisis since 2014 – the opportunity to participate in the Commission’s final hearing is further evidence of the importance of the organization’s past accomplishments and outcomes and the mountain of work ahead.
- Developed the only youth awareness prevention program to address the dangers of opioids, now used in more than a dozen states.
- Worked with lawmakers allowing for over-the-counter Naloxone (brand name NARCAN®) access. Has trained and distributed over 13,000 Naloxone kits to first responders and the public.
- Recently, became the first organization in the U.S. to be trained to deliver an evidence-based personality-targeted approach adolescent substance use prevention program that is being piloted in six Indiana counties.
- Developed effective evidence-informed training courses addressing the opioid crisis. When deployed across a community, or state, it results in all key stakeholders carrying the same awareness and knowledge level and improves cross-channel collaboration and results.
The President’s Commission’s report includes 56 recommendations addressing advancements and changes to Federal Funding and Programs; Screening and Early Intervention; Prescribing Guidelines, Regulation and Education; Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Supply Reduction and Enforcement Strategies Opioid Addiction Treatment, Recovery and Overdose Reversal and Research and Development. When asked for her viewpoint on one of the most critical components of the Commission’s report, Justin comments,
“To distill this down to one thing you can image is a challenge for someone who feels we need to do more – not less. The work of the commission and the report to the President will allow work like ours to have a bigger impact and together we will save more lives than we are losing. Addiction needs to be treated like the other chronic diseases, providing immediate, accessible care and continuation of services required for positive and successful outcomes.”
Watch Justin Phillip’s Testimony