About fifteen years ago I started having back problems. I kept hoping that it would go away but it just kept getting worse. Finally, after suffering sleepless nights and long days I went to the doctor. After trying several different treatments and nothing helping I resigned myself to the fact that prescription pain meds were going to be part of my life forever.
The problem began, as it typically does, when I realized that when I took my meds my brain “shut off”. By that I mean that for the first time in my entire life I knew what it felt like when people said they were “relaxing”.
I spent the next 12 years taking the meds my doctor prescribed and buying more when I ran out. The problem is that the first time that you start taking your meds for any reason other than why they were prescribed you have a problem, you just don’t admit it. I started taking them when I was mad or sad or happy or celebrating. It seemed as if I could no longer do the activities that I once enjoyed without being high.
It also became impossible to work unless I had pills. So, if I didn’t have any I would call in sick to begin the often relentless task of looking for drugs. The inevitable would eventually occur, I’d get fired or I would quit. When I would finally realize that I needed to go back to work for whatever reason, often times after not working for a year or two, I wouldn’t be able to get a job making what I had made before or that there weren’t any places that would hire me in my degree field because of lack of experience. My husband and I started having trouble paying our bills, even though we were both working full-time. It’s hard to pay the house payment and utilities and buy copious amounts of drugs. We eventually lost our house.
Road to Recovery - August 2016
Preventing and Addressing Opioid Misuse and Abuse: Our Nation’s Challenge
Earlier this summer, Overdose Lifeline was invited to participate in the filming of an episode of The Road to Recovery television show from SAMHSA. This show highlights recent trends in prescription opioid misuse and heroin use; opioid use disorders; and emergency department visits, overdose, and treatment episodes related to prescription opioids and heroin.
Press Release, August 21, 2016
Overdose Lifeline to host 3rd annual International Overdose Awareness Day and Remembrance - Naloxone (Narcan) Training & Distribution available for those in need
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – For the third year in a row, Overdose Lifeline, Inc. (ODL) will host an annual International Overdose Awareness Day event in Indianapolis at a new location. On Sunday, August 28, the organization will host the event at the White River State Park Pavilion to honor and remember lives lost to addiction while training others in the use of Naloxone to potentially save a life of those still battling addiction. The program will include special recognition of an individual trained in the use of Naloxone resulting in saving someone’s life this summer.
Training and distribution are possible as a result of Aaron’s Law, signed into effect on April 17, 2015, which allows access for substance users and their families the ability to reverse the effects of an overdose with Naloxone. Aaron’s Law, named in memory of ODL founder Justin Phillips’ son, allows all pharmacies in Indiana to provide Naloxone over the counter without a prescription. Overdose Lifeline, Inc. is registered with the State of Indiana to train and distribute.
New Indiana laws become effective today which improve access to resources and added support to help Indiana's battle to reduce the state's opioid epidemic. Laws which address increased access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, insurance coverage and evidence-based treatment practices for detox and improving the data management and reporting of the INSPECT program.
SB 187 OVERDOSE INTERVENTION DRUGS
Naloxone is now available over-the-counter through a statewide standing order issued by the Indiana State Department of Health. An individual, a family member, or friend can visit any Indiana pharmacy and request naloxone without the need for a prescription. Read more about SB 187
Visit our Naloxone for the Public information page for more information on what this new law means for you or your family-member or loved one.
SB 297 - OPIOID DEPENDENCE TREATMENT
This bill was the product of the Attorney General's Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse, authored by Senator Miller and sponsored by Representative Kirchhofer - signed by the Governor on March 21, 2016 and becomes effective on July 1, 2016. The Opioid Dependence Treatment bill requires
HB 1278 INSPECT PROGRAM
This bill is designed to improve the prescription drug reporting program INSPECT to provide a more access and improved reporting. For example the bill allows a dentist, physician, advanced practice nurse, physicians assistant and podiatrist to include an INSPECT program report in a patient's file. Read more about SB 1278
Earlier this month I was honored to be in our Nation’s Capital attending the 44th Annual National Jefferson Awards Foundation Ceremony. The Jefferson Awards recognize individuals from across the United States engaged in public service. In the words of Sam Beard, Co-Founder and President, ““the Jefferson Awards are the Noble Prize of Public Service.” I am honored to have been among the 50 individuals chosen to receive an award. For me, this is an opportunity to amplify the message that addiction, as a chronic brain disease, deserves the care and attention provided to other chronic diseases. The experience was incredible. Ordinary people doing extraordinary work to effect change in their communities, and getting acknowledged as such. The Jefferson Awards Foundation treated the honorees with style and class. I am grateful for the experience. And yet I am struck by how much more work must be done.
So many Americans still don’t know the magnitude or pervasiveness of this epidemic. The average person living an unaffected life does not understand addiction and the opioid epidemic. Struggling with addiction/ is still being judged, and considered a tragic experience only affecting others.
Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention Endorses Prescribing Guidelines for Acute Pain
June 21, 2016 Indianapolis – Today, the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention endorsed a set of opioid and controlled substance prescribing guidelines for emergency departments as part of a larger strategy to combat prescription drug abuse in Indiana. This endorsement is a result of a prior recommendation of the Task Force and action taken by Governor Mike Pence, who directed the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to work with stakeholders to create guidelines for acute pain prescribing.
“Our Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention today takes yet another meaningful stride forward in Indiana’s fight against prescription drug abuse as we roll out new guidelines aimed at curbing overprescribed addictive opioids,” said Governor Pence. “While communities across the Hoosier state and the nation work to address a prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, my administration remains vigilant in addressing the scourge of drug abuse that has brought heartbreak for far too many Hoosier families.”