LAFAYETTE — Before-and-after pictures of Mary Shandon Rhode tell the story of a journey through addiction and recovery.
"We're just like everybody else; we're just a little more broken," Rhode said.
Rhode is currently in a work release program at the Tippecanoe County Community Corrections Center. She is currently six months sober, but she has seen firsthand the struggles that people battle going through their journey with addiction and recovery.
“I am just now on the regular work release program. I had been in some much trouble in this facility. I am normally on the verge of going to jail and I graduate April fourth,” Rhode said.
Rhode has relied on resources provided by the corrections center — the same resources others can learn about, thanks to a Naloxone vending machine that is designed to save lives.
“It's got the Naloxone nasal spray, we added resource cards so there is a 24-hour pre-recovery contact number that an individual or family can call, as well as community resources for mental health, addiction, housing and any number of social services that our community provides,” said Jason Huber, executive director of the Tippecanoe County Community Corrections Center.
The Corrections Center is the first community corrections center in Indiana to receive a Naloxone vending machine. Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medication approved to reverse an overdose from opioids and is given when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose.
A total of 43 Narcan kits have been dispensed in the Tippecanoe County community through a vending machine.
“We like to be at the forefront of change. The opioid crisis affects our community just like others around the state, this is just an opportunity for us to be a part of the criminal justice system but also be a part of the recovery community,” Huber said.
Each kit includes a single dose of Naloxone, instructions for use and a referral to treatment for substance use disorder. The machine holds up to 300 Naloxone kits and is free to access.
“I came to Lafayette in 2015 to do parole on a possession of meth charge and went to a recovery home and met a boy and fell in love and was introduced to heroin and it has ruined the last six years of my life,” Rhode said.
“That's saving more lives because you never know if someone on the street you might be passing might be overdosing, someone on the bus someone out here you never know, so I think it's a great idea," she added.
Rhode is proud of her journey and her community and a large part is thanks to the resources that she feels others battling addiction would benefit from.
“You know, we just need a little more love most days,” Rhode said.
Anyone interested in finding a Naloxone kit or a nearby distribution center can click here for more information.
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 learn more about NaloxBoxes, 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.