It was a beautiful evening to end a beautiful day on August 29, 2021, as families and loved ones gathered to remember lives lost to drug overdose; gone too soon, too young, and without notice.
The 8th Annual Indiana Overdose Awareness Day (ODAD) was held at the Indiana State Museum with over 100 individuals in attendance. Over 250 photographs were displayed commemorating the lives lost. Those in attendance enjoyed a light meal, fellowship, recognition from elected officials, annual awards, and a sunset candlelight vigil to share the names and stories of their loved ones.
The 2021 ODAD Award Winners are as follows.
- Anita Schellenberger, New Albany/Floyd County Health Dept
- Josh Graves, Board Vice President Safe Haven Recovery community organization in Orange County
- Paxton Klitzsch, Herron High School Indianapolis
- Indiana Senator Andy Zay
- Charmin Gabbard and the Fayette County Harm Reduction Alliance
- Leila Mortazavi, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor Eskenazi Health
- Rachel Jahla, MSW, Beacon Health System
- Dan O’Donnell, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, the Division Chief & Fellowship Director, Out-of-Hospital Care (EMS, Department of Emergency Medicine, Chief Indianapolis EMS
To all of the individuals and organizations who contribute to ending the opioid overdose crisis, thank you. We also to thank the following for their contribution to this event:
- Cathryn Ferree, CEO Indiana State Museum
- Staff of the Indiana State Museum
- Daniel Rusyniak, MD, State of Indiana Family and Social Service Administration
- Senator Mike Crider
- Senator Jim Merritt
- Andrew Merkley, Housing Liaison with the Office of Public Health and Safety, City of Indianapolis
- Rev. Andrea Boutselis
- Board of Overdose Lifeline
- Staff of Overdose Lifeline
- Evan Shine
- Kirsten Smith Calhoun
- Jay Alley Photography
- Diana Ensign, Author
The opportunity to have these moments are often few and far between. Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible. To see more from the day, check out our ODAD photo album below.
If you have lost someone to a SUD, we invite you to share their story on our Remembrance Page, or join us for our Lifeline for Loss Support Group. You are not alone.