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.”
We are often asked "How can I find Overdose Lifeline" online or around the state. So we thought we would put together a blog post of how and where as there are many, many avenues and ways to connect with us!
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Jefferson Awards Foundation Recognizes Indianapolis Volunteers for Philanthropic Work at National Ceremony
Washington, DC, June 15-16, 2016–The Jefferson Awards Foundation, America’s gold seal of public service, will honor this year’s most outstanding public service achievers during its annual gala in Washington, D.C. The events, held in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on June 15 & 16, 2016, will recognize and celebrate students, grassroots public service individuals, employees and companies making a difference. Honorees include celebrities, public service professionals, entrepreneurs, local heroes and corporations all dedicated to public service.
Grassroots recipients are selected through local media partners in markets throughout the country. Justin Phillips was selected by RTV6. Justin lost her 20-year son Aaron to a heroin overdose in 2013, and she’s determined to prevent similar tragedies. Thanks to her efforts, in 2015 the Indiana Legislature passed "Aaron's Law" which allows anyone to get a prescription for Narcan, the heroin overdose antidote, and to legally administer it. An estimated 1,400 heroin users have been saved by police and emergency medical technicians using Narcan. Justin also created Overdose Lifeline, a nonprofit program that provides free Narcan and training, education and prevention for youth, support for families, and advocacy to address addiction as a healthcare issue, not a criminal justice issue.
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Overdose Lifeline Founder Receives White House Champions of Change Award for Advancing Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery
Phillips said, “I am very grateful to Senator Donnelly for this nomination. ODL has so much work to do with our current harm reduction, prevention and education programs – reaching more individuals and counties that are in need. As important, we have a specific “to do” list that addresses initiatives critical to reducing/managing this epidemic and helping those impacted. Our “to do” list needs to apply some of the proven, best practices learned from our colleagues in other states.”
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 email@example.com.
You can watch the video about Phillips, produced for Circle of Hope, at this link: https://youtu.be/JD19ehyYBdg or below.