Residents living in rural Indiana are looking at different ways to fight the opioid epidemic. Around 400 Hoosiers joined Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor for a rural opioid addiction symposium Friday in Lebanon.
The event featured Doug Payne, a Brown County farmer who is recovering from addiction. He says the summit is important because there are many unanswered questions about opioids.
“There is not fix-all. There is no silver bullet to this. But with kids we’ve got to be there for them and support them in what they’re doing,” Payne says. “And if they’re wanting to quit, we’ve got to be there and support them 100 percent.”
Payne says changing the preconceived negative views of opioids will help with recovery.
Jim McClelland is the executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. He says more than half of the cases at the Department of Child Services deal with children removed from their homes because of their parents’ addictions.
“I heard in another county a few weeks ago of great-grandparents who are raising the children because both the parents and the grandparents have substance abuse problems,” McClelland says. “This is something that’s not only destroying lives but it’s devastating families and damaging communities all over this state.”
McClelland says they plan to continue their fight against the crisis by having more opioid symposiums and creating mentoring programs for children impacted by their parent’s addiction.