In addition to hosting our 9th Indiana Overdose Awareness Day, we were invited to speak at the White House for Overdose Awareness Day. Here’s a recap from the week:
Indiana Overdose Awareness Day
On August 28th, we hosted Indiana Overdose Awareness Day at the state museum. It was a beautiful summer night to remember lives lost to overdose. Over 100 people came to remember a loved one gone too soon.
While enjoying the music of Don Pedigo, families got an opportunity to enjoy food and support one another in their common pain. We also heard from the following speakers about the important steps being taken in Indiana to combat this epidemic:
- Lauren Rodriguez – the Director of the Office of Public Health and Safety and the State of Indiana
- Douglas Huntsinger, from Governor Eric Holcomb’s Office – the Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement and Indiana Commissioner to Combat Drug Abuse
We also announced the ODAD award winners who were nominated for contributing to the epidemic. The winners included:
- Medical – Brittany Stout, NP, Safe Haven Recovery Center
- Organization/Community Partner – Muncie Folk Collective
- Layperson –
- Cindy Whyde
- Mindy King
- Matt Cline
- Public Safety Individual or Organization-
- Steven (Mike) Chandler
- Sheriff Gary Allison, Daviess County
- Policy Advocate- Douglas Huntsinger, Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement, Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.
- Special Recognition- Megan King Wright
And the night ended at dusk with a candlelight vigil and an opportunity to remember those we’ve lost. We want to thank everyone who came together to make it such a memorable day. See photos from the day below:
International Overdose Awareness Day
As Overdose Awareness Week continued, Justin Phillips was given the prestigious honor to speak at the White House, where she met with the director of the ONDCP, Dr. Rahul Gupta, and Second Gentlemen, Douglas Emhoff. She stood to represent all of the lives lost to overdose in Indiana, the work Overdose Lifeline is doing, and her recommendations moving forward – some of which included:
- addressing the Stigma that still exists as a barrier to helping family members
- raising the knowledge base and reach through our online learning platforms
- better access to harm reduction resources for both the individuals and their families
It was a privilege and honor to be included in a small group of 10 when we know there are thousands of family members who have been impacted. Overdose Awareness is the first step in understanding how we can collectively do better. It’s humbling to see how our grassroots organization found its way to the White House podium, and a true honor to continue our work in Indiana. We have you to thank for that. To conclude the week, we’ll echo this sentiment from the Second Gentleman:
“In our meeting, the same words kept coming up: stigma, collaboration, and mental health. As POTUS often says, it will take all of us together to fight this epidemic.”-Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman
If you’d like to invite Justin to speak at your next event, click here to submit a Speaker Request.
Read the Press Release for the White House Actions During Overdose Awareness Week here.