By: Dee McKinsey—
Leading Indianapolis Advocate for Preventing Drug Overdose Deaths to Speak in Muncie
Muncie, IN— Justin Phillips of Indianapolis, founder and executive director of Overdose Lifeline, Inc. (ODL), will be the featured speaker at the annual Delaware County Prevention Council’s Red Ribbon Community Breakfast. Along with Phillips, members of the council’s PRIDE Team will perform.
This year’s theme is: “Be the change you wish to see — Live Drug Free.”
The breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Horizon Convention Center, 401 S. High, Muncie. Tickets are $25 each or $200 for a reserved table of eight. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the council at 765-282-7988 or at www.dcpreventionpartners.org. Reservations are limited. The deadline to reserve tickets is Oct. 18.
Phillips formed ODL in 2014 after the death of her 20-year-old son, Aaron, due to a heroin overdose. ODL is an Indiana-based organization dedicated to reducing the stigma of addiction and preventing deaths resulting from opioid overdose.
In 2015, Phillips helped enact Aaron’s Law, which allows public access to Naloxone (Narcan), which reverses opioid’s effects. Her organization has distributed naloxone and trained first-responders on its use. Recently 600 Narcan kits were sent to Delaware County, which has reported 42 fatal overdoses last year and 23 so far this year.
Phillips was named a White House Champions of Change for her work in preventing opioid deaths. She also received a 2016 Jefferson Award and a Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award, 2016.
“We are pleased to have Justin speak to us at a critical time in drug treatment and prevention in Delaware County,” said Pat Hart, executive director of the Delaware County Prevention Council. “Her message is important as we continue to lose so many to drug addiction and overdose. Drug abuse in Delaware County is at epidemic levels.”
Red Ribbon Week, focusing on substance abuse, is Oct. 23-31. October is national Substance Abuse Month.
The PRIDE team members, from eight Delaware County High Schools, were selected on the basis of their leadership qualities, talents, essay, availability, interview process and a commitment to a drug-free lifestyle.
Over the past two decades, the Delaware County Prevention Council has served the community as a community coalition examining substance abuse in the areas of prevention, treatment and law enforcement. The council is a non-profit, with a 40-member board consisting of members of the community involved in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse.
Dee McKinsey is Federal Grant Coordinator for the Delaware County Prevention Council