Geist Resident Establishes Aaron’s Law to Fight Addiction
Writer / Kara Reibel . Photos Provided
Heroine addiction is far reaching into our communities, more than most would like to think. These opiate-based drugs are infiltrating communities, affecting good kids from good homes. After her son’s tragic death from a heroin overdose, Geist resident Justin Phillips pushed for legislation to help prevent drug-related deaths.
“Sometimes the addiction is stronger than the will to get help,” shares Phillips. “I want my hindsight to help save others.”
Reaching out for help isn’t easy for many with addiction issues. “We have to talk about drug addiction the same way we talk about cancer,” says Phillips who founded Overdose Lifeline, Inc. “It’s time to break through the stigma and open up a sincere dialogue to help people.”
The mission of Overdose Lifeline is to carry “the message of HOPE to individuals, families and communities affected by addiction,” which was the driving force behind the passage of Aaron’s Law in the last legislative session. Aaron’s Law enables anyone access to a prescription for Naloxone (Narcan), the opiate drug antidote.
To realize that vision, Overdose Lifeline is working on behalf of addicts and their families to assure adequate resources and support exists.
Overdose Lifeline has developed an educational program to help inform students of the risks of opioids and heroin use and provide alternatives to using drugs and alcohol in dealing with the issues, stresses and pressures facing today’s youth.
Their website contains current information regarding heroin treatment and prevention, including resources for those who may be seeking help and for caregivers. There is also a poignant video created by Verexia Studios.
“I feel blessed to have been part of this project,” shares Kindari O’Connor, founder of Verexia. “It is such an important message, and we hope this opens up a dialogue about addiction and encouraging people to seek treatment.”
Overdose Lifeline funds the opiate drug antidote for police departments around the state of Indiana. Aaron’s Law not only makes Naloxone available to anyone, but also makes it legal for anyone to administer the drug.
Indianapolis Metro Police Department was one of the first to train officers to implement the Naloxone administration program.
“Our southwest district piloted the [Naloxone] Narcan program for our department with widespread success,” states Lt. Richard Riddle of IMPD. “We have specially trained officers in the first line of defense in saving lives.”
“Help is out there. All someone needs to do is go to our website and reach out to us,” shares Phillips. “We have support groups and can place families in touch with the right resources to find the help they need and deserve.”
Please visit overdose-lifeline.org for more information.