Local experts and IU representatives to convene community conversation on addictions and recovery

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In observance of National Recovery Month, the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement and IU Grand Challenge: Responding to the Addictions Crisis is partnering with Lawrence County’s Families Forever to host a community conversation on addictions and recovery.

Residents and local leaders from the region are invited to the discussion, which will take place at StoneGate Arts and Education Center, 931 15th Street in Bedford, on Tuesday, September 10 from 6-8 p.m. This is one of the events IU is hosting in September to empower residents with information to combat the devastating impact of substance use disorder.

Discussion panelists include Robin Newhouse, dean of the School of Nursing and lead investigator on the IU Grand Challenge addictions initiative; Gabriela Williams, an addictions inpatient pharmacist with Eskenazi Health; John Keesler, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, researcher on rural opioid response planning with Indiana Rural Health Association and Lawrence County resident; and Kenny Bundy with Families Forever and Centerstone organizations in Bedford.

The nonprofit organization Overdose Lifeline will conclude the discussion with naloxone training and distribution. Naloxone is an FDA-approved medication that is administered in an emergency to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.

As part of Grand Challenge efforts, IU has partnered with the Indiana Supreme Court and state agencies to help train almost 1,000 court and law enforcement officials on Medically Assisted Treatment for addictions, and led a coalition of nonprofit groups and government agencies to distribute naloxone kits and provide training in their use across Indianapolis and southern Indiana.

The IU Center for Rural Engagement, in partnership with other IU centers and the Indiana Rural Health Association, is examining substance use disorder, community perceptions and effective rural recovery programs to inform future initiatives in the state of Indiana.

Responding to the Addictions Crisis:

The Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative engages a broad array of IU's world-class faculty, as well as IU's business, nonprofit and government partners. Working together, the groups are contributing to an initiative to implement a comprehensive plan to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of drug addiction on Hoosier communities and improve health and economic outcomes. This initiative is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive state-based responses to the opioid addiction crisis -- and the largest led by a university.

Media contact:
Kyla Cox Deckard, IU Center for Rural Engagement
(812) 855-4992

The IU Center for Rural Engagement improves the lives of Hoosiers through collaborative initiatives that discover and deploy scalable and flexible solutions to common challenges facing rural communities. Working in full-spectrum community innovation through research, community-engaged teaching and student service, the center builds vision, harnesses assets and cultivates sustainable leadership structures within the communities with which it engages to ensure long-term success.