Report and Request FREE Naloxone Here

news

Overdose Lifeline, Inc., founder named 2016 Circle of Hope Award winner

Press Release Fairbanks April 26, 2016. Read the Release here
Fairbanks honored Justin K. Phillips with its 2016 Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award during the annual Circle of Hope Dinner April 21 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Phillips, a recovery advocate, founded Overdose Lifeline, Inc., to raise awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic and provide resources for prevention. She started the nonprofit organization one year after her 20-year-old son Aaron died from a heroin overdose. In 2015 Phillips worked with state Sen. Jim Merritt on the passage of SEA 406 (Aaron’s Law) to allow for layperson access to Naloxone, a prescription medication used to treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations.

While humbled by the recognition from Fairbanks, Phillips called it bittersweet. If she could change Aaron’s outcome, she would be anywhere else. Since she couldn’t, Phillips had no choice but to address a problem affecting so many families from every walk of life.

“When I became faced with the reality that my son Aaron was permanently gone from our lives, there was no possibility of comfort, so I chose to have the courage to speak up about the roles stigma and denial play in this disease of addiction – and for Aaron’s memory and all the others losing this fight,” Phillips said.
Even though Phillips has been in recovery from alcoholism since 1989, she was still too ashamed and in denial to admit to anyone that Aaron was using heroin. And she believes that contributed to his death.
“So I decided to start talking about it,” Phillips said. “My experience could save others. Too many are dying. This is really about their lost voices and their lost opportunities. I am here for Aaron and for the countless others.”

Along with helping to pass Aaron’s Law, Overdose Lifeline also developed the only prevention education program directly addressing opioids and heroin. They’ll be part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Road to Recovery program later this year. Phillips also is in the process of earning a master’s degree in addictions counseling from Indiana Wesleyan University.

“There are many days I wonder about choosing comfort,” she said. “But there are lives at stake, and it is time this disease gets the attention it deserves.”

More information on Overdose Lifeline, Inc., is available online at www.overdose-lifeline.org. Contact Phillips at justin.overdoselifeline@gmail.com.

You can watch the video about Phillips, produced for Circle of Hope, at this link: https://youtu.be/JD19ehyYBdg or below.

Share this post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Scroll to Top
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

BLOG

Share an Empowerment Story

Overdose Lifeline is devoted to helping those in active substance use and/or in recovery and their loved ones to overcome setbacks on their journey. This is a place to share empowering stories with your community and support group. We would love to hear yours.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
We recommend pictures in landscape orientation with at least 720px wide.
Tell us how you would like us to attribute the message. Example: Use your first and last name, your first name only, anonymous.