A national addiction policy group launched an Indiana chapter this week with an aim to create more resources for families and individuals struggling with addiction.
The Addiction Policy Forum works to raise awareness and improve policy related to the opioid and addiction crisis.
The new Indiana chapter will be led by two Hoosier mothers who have lost sons to the disease of addiction. Andrea' Grace Phillips is a life coach from Evansville. Justin Phillips is from Indianapolis and is familiar with this work – she founded Overdose Lifeline to help prevent opioid deaths. She says this new role will aid in collaboration.
"They’ll work with us on policy, so help us decipher what’s happening in Indiana as it relates to policy that is supportive of addressing substance use disorder as well as policy that might not be so supportive," says Justin Phillips.
Other priorities include expanded access to treatment and recovery, prevention and education efforts.
Justin Phillips says awareness is also a priority.
"Work really hard to eliminate the stigma around addiction and help every individual understand the chronic brain disease," says Justin Phillips.
In 2016, 1,500 people in Indiana died from drugs.