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News Tip: Meet Justin Phillips, Indiana’s Women of the Year Honoree, Beacon of Hope and Inspiration to Others

In recognition of Women’s History Month (March), USA TODAY is celebrating its 2024 Women of the Year, who are using their influence to empower women to lead the next generation. 

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Indiana’s honoree, Justin Phillips, founder of the statewide nonprofit, Overdose Lifeline.

“Justin Phillips is the type of person who identifies the gaps between problem and solution — the overlooked needs, the frustrating red tape, the fear of stigma. And then she builds bridges,” states the award description.

She founded Overdose Lifeline after the death of her youngest son, Aaron, due to a heroin overdose at the age of 20. Justin started the organization as a way to help those with substance addictions and the people who love them. Since then, she was instrumental in advocating for the passing of Aaron’s Law, which helped provide the public access to Naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose, in vending machines, outdoor boxes and from key partners. Under Justin’s leadership, Overdose Lifeline has generated an expansive list of accomplishments including harm reduction programs, training courses, creation of Aaron’s Place and Camp Mariposa and much more.

When asked about her proudest moment, she said, “But I also feel really proud when I realize that the work we do at Overdose Lifeline saves people’s lives and I hear from someone and they tell me, “You know, I was able to save my child, and that child is now in recovery.” It’s hard to say “proud,” right, because I feel like that’s not enough humility. But it makes my heart feel so much better.”

Read more about Justin’s inspirational journey here.

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