South-Central Indiana residents and leaders came together to share their stories during Monroe County’s first ever opioid summit Thursday. The county hopes the conversations will lead to increased awareness and community action.
Breakout sessions focused on different aspects of addressing the addiction crisis, including through harm reduction and law enforcement.
Kevin Moore directs the division of mental health and addiction in Indiana and participated in one of the discussions. Moore says a collection of bills recently passed gives new mothers who are suffering from addiction more resources.
“I don’t know if any of you have brought a baby home from a hospital, that’s a pretty stressful event,” Moore says. “They don’t come with instructions, there are no nurses around. And, we want to make sure there is support for that mom when she brings her child home.”
Some community members also shared personal stories of dealing with the opioid crisis. Sharon Blaire lost her daughter to a fatal overdose in 2009.
“There is no handbook that parents get at the hospital that offers steps on what to do if your daughter becomes a person with a substance use disorder,” Blaire says. “My friends did not have addictive kids, so they did not understand what I was going through with Jennifer.”
The final hour of the summit focused on how to take action in communities and start implementing changes that will address opioid abuse.