DECATUR TOWNSHIP — From the start of 2019 to July 2021, Marion County saw more than 18,000 overdoses, according to data by the Marion County Public Health Department. One of the zip codes in Decatur Township saw more than 800 overdoses during this time frame.
"We recognize that there is a problem and we’re not afraid to address it,” Kelly Ivey, the executive director of the Decatur Township Drug-Free Coalition, said.
The health department notes the source of the data is the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) database and “should be considered preliminary and can be subject to change.”
For more than half a decade, the coalition has worked towards breaking the stigma around overdoses. Part of the coalition’s mission to help Decatur Township kids and teens is to educate parents and guardians of the hidden dangers of drug usage. That is where a recently purchased empty trailer comes into play.
"What we felt to like that we needed to do to be able to educate the community more about what’s really going on with our kids is to have something mobile that we can take to events,” Ivey said.
She described the inside of the trailer will transform into a mock teenage bedroom. Once finished, the coalition will use the space to educate parents and guardians of signs of drug use.
The outside of the trailer recently changed from a blank canvas to completely wrapped. On the back of the trailer door is a reminder of the faces taken too soon from the opioid crisis.
“They’re our why. Ali is my why," Ivey said. "I just want to protect other families from going through everything that our family has gone through."
Ali is Ivey’s niece. She died in 2017 at just 22-years-old while in active recovery.
In June the coalition received a $10,000 grant through a pilot grant program aimed at tackling crime. Ivey said the money is covering the costs of outfitting the trailer.
The trailer is expected to be on the road by the end of August.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a substance use-related emergency, call 911.
For more information on a recovery organization near you, you can visit the Indiana Recovery Network website.
You can call 211 for help 24/7 in Indiana.
You can call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-622-HELP (4357).
To find where you can get Naloxone near you, click here.
To view more resources from NextLevel Recovery Indiana, click here to visit its website.
Click here to learn more about substance use disorders.
Substance use disorder-related data from the state.