By Kali Fields, Director, Grassroots Advocacy
Opioid-related overdoses are on the rise for the first time in years across the country. This is partly fueled by the isolation, anxiety and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which can lead individuals to turn to opioids as a coping mechanism. Voices is proud to have a long-standing partnership with Overdose Lifeline, an organization that has galvanized efforts to help their community during these difficult times.
Overdose Lifeline, a nonprofit based in Indiana, is dedicated to helping individuals, families and communities affected by substance use disorder. Executive Director Justin Phillips, founded Overdose Lifeline in 2014 after losing her youngest son, Aaron, to an overdose. The resiliency of Justin and her family inspires Voices and our partners across the country. The hope she has given after heartbreak is unparalleled.
In this new “normal” that has Americans consistently readjusting, Overdose Lifeline has partnered with the State of Indiana to safely distribute naloxone to individuals and communities in need across the state. Naloxone is a lifesaving tool to revive those suffering from an overdose, but accessibility to the drug is often limited and only becoming more difficult to acquire due to the pandemic. If you live in Indiana and are in need of naloxone, please visit their website here.
They have a wide variety of other resources available on their website, including:
- Courses and Trainings
- CE credit for clinicians and health care professionals
- CE credit for law enforcement officers
- Youth Programs
- This is NOT about Drugs
- Support Programs
- Advocacy Programs
While the pandemic is exacerbating opioid misuse and abuse, this is not a new trend. Prescription opioids have served as a gateway to addiction for decades. Overdose Lifeline does amazing work supporting individuals and communities suffering from substance misuse. The COVID-19 crisis is leading to increased rates of depression, stress, and substance misuse, which could very well continue to escalate. As states are re-opening and hospitals and patients are rushing to schedule elective surgeries, which are associated with high rates of opioid prescribing, our vulnerable communities are at risk for a new flood of opioid pills. Justin has been a remarkable partner in urging Congress to pass the NOPAIN Act – and the need is only increasing. Take action today here.