Community leaders come together to raise awareness of the overdose crisis

Organizers said Floyd County saw 6 overdoses last weekend.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – The overdose crisis is an ongoing problem in Kentuckiana and across the country.

Leaders said it would take community support and leadership action to bring about real change.

Community leaders gathered at Park Christian Church in New Albany to raise awareness of the overdose crisis facing southern Indiana counties and to encourage people to take action.

“We need help. We need help to stop this,” said Tony Hostetler, a leader of Hoosier Action, an advocacy organization. “It’s going to take a community to move to shape us to solve this problem.”

Organizers said Floyd County saw 6 overdoses last weekend.

“I’ve lost family members. I’ve lost my husband and my daughter’s life, and everyone else’s sons and daughters are in danger every day,” said Project Director Tracy Skaggs. Recovery.

Hoosier Action and other advocacy organizations want everyone to carry Narcan, an overdose reversal tool.

“I wish to God I would have had the Narcan when my brother was going through the things he was going through, because I would have had my best friend here,” Project Recovery member Julie Steed said.

The organizers distributed Narcan to almost everyone present, about 100 people. They are also asking the Governor of New Albany to do more.

Hoosier Action has three goals: to require all first responders to wear Narcan, to equip at least 10 organizations with Narcan, and to increase the number of needle jets.

City Council Speaker Jason Applegate said they were taking several preventative measures, including investing millions in health and wellness, but more can be done.

“Once we have those 10 companies, we tick off those 10 and say okay, let’s get 10 more,” Applegate said.

It’s a gesture that community members want to see, to save one life at a time.

“It’s something that can be solved by treating each individual who suffers from it as an individual and giving them the dignity of life,” said Gabe Pfefer, a member of Hoosier Action and pastor of Park Christian Church.

“This impacts the long-term mental health of our community, not only for people who have lost and bereaved family members, but also for moms and dads who are just waiting for that phone call. that they never want to have, this anxiety about people really impacts all of us,” said Will Stauffer of Hoosier Action.

Hoosier Action will hold its next meeting on Thursday, October 27.

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