Hoosiers remember loved ones on Overdose Awareness Day

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A group of Hoosiers are trying to make sure those who have lost their lives to addiction are not forgotten.

Sunday is International Overdose Awareness Day and September is National Recovery Month, the focus is on treatment and health services.

A picnic was held Sunday evening at Juan Solomon Park to bring families in similar situations together to talk about their loss.

“I’m here because I’m a dad and our son Jake died last year of an overdose,” said David Meyer.

His son Jake would have turned 23 on Saturday.

“He was a beautiful, smart, intelligent, creative, wonderful young man, but he had an addiction and unfortunately it killed him,” Meyer said.

The CDC says 113 people die each day in the US from overdoses. This picnic was put on by the local organization Overdose-Lifeline, Inc. It says in the first 6 months of this year, 50 people in Marion County alone died of overdoses.

“I want the family members who either are struggling or have lost someone to know that its OK to be able to go somewhere and talk about it,” said Justin Phillips, who founded Overdose-Lifeline, Inc. after losing her son Aaron to a heroin overdose last year

A national study shows Indiana has the 17th most overdose deaths in the United States last year. The CDC reports the majority of overdose deaths occur after taking prescription drugs.

“It’s a disease and unfortunately, it’s a disease that kills young people. So, by bringing people together, we can help people understand that they’re not alone,” Meyer said.

Indiana’s Lifeline Law was expanded this year to make Narcan available to local police departments. The original bill offers immunity to the friend calling for help and the person in need whether from drinking or drugs.

“Encouraging kids, and adults for that matter, to make good decisions, said Senator Jim Merritt who sponsored the Lifeline Law.

Events happening all across the state this month. To find one near you click here.

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