The language we use to refer to people with substance use disorders can elicit many negative stereotypes. Substance use disorders are more highly stigmatized than any other health condition. This is largely due to the misinformed notion that addiction is some form of moral failing.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that Indiana will receive $18,147,223 in grant funding to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis.
When people hear about someone dying of a heroin or opioid overdose, the response is sometimes dismissive, as though drug users don’t deserve our compassion. I’m here to argue they deserve our compassion and more—our willingness to give them a dose of Narcan to reverse the overdose so they can get another shot at life.
The Bartholomew County Adult Drug Recovery Court is the newest of the county’s three-problem solving courts, designed to help and provide skills to high risk and high need nonviolent criminal offenders who have Substance Use Disorder.
While the new court has been in existence for three months, the benefits of having the new court may not become apparent for three to five years, said Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin, who supervises the new court.
They moved walls, rewired, removed a gigantic brick safe and built a bridge in the floor — and soon the work of hundreds of volunteers and contractors will be finished with the opening of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress Hub.
The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress will deliver a Community Progress Report at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at The Commons in downtown Columbus.
“Since our last report to the community, a great deal of progress has been made,” said Doug Leonard, ASAP executive director. “The time is right to share that progress, as well as discuss plans moving forward.”
Many of the communities most affected by drug addiction and overdose death are low income, rural parts of the country. Often, economic opportunities are more limited in these areas, and social isolation is worse. There are also fewer resources for substance abuse treatment. In nearly every state, there is a county where residents die of drug overdoses at a higher annual rate than the national figure of 18.2 fatalities per 100,000 Americans.
Minister Phil Murray knows addiction’s ferocious hold and hell.
That memory of what he fought years ago with a cocaine habit still shakes him — and keeps him wide-eyed and eager to reach out to others in the same struggle. So he’ll be among organizers of a free event called Fresh Start slated from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at Ninth Street Park, 1023 Ninth St. in Columbus.
The gathering is just one part of Faith, Hope and Love Church of God In Christ’s multifaceted approach to helping fight the local drug problem. The Christian church launched a jail ministry last year, among other efforts.
“We just wanted to do something about the drug and alcohol problem,” said the Rev. Mike Harris, the church’s longtime pastor.
Indiana, which has been ravaged by the opioid crisis, has seen big growth in addiction treatment. Currently, 165 providers are certified to operate outpatient addiction treatment services across the state—up 67% from 2009, according to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, a unit of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
It can happen to anyone – anytime. We are all just one accident away from becoming addicted to painkillers – opioids. Opioid addiction usually starts innocently. Someone is injured, the physician writes them a prescription, they use the medication and the cycle begins. One prescription becomes another and one day you realize you must have the drug to fight the pain and more important, to satisfy the cravings for that “feeling” the drug gives you.