Opioid crisis: 'You know someone who is affected by this'

A father who lost his daughter to an overdose after seven months of sobriety. A paramedic who has witnessed the ravaging effects of withdrawal. A lawmaker whose life changed the day a grieving mother opened his eyes to how close drugs lurk to his own life. A tough-on-crime prosecutor who didn’t know his sister was using heroin.

These people have seen first-hand the toll the opioid and heroin epidemic is taking on Indiana: The 136 percent increase in drug poisoning deaths; the 3,000 hospital emergency room visits a year for nonfatal drug overdoses. The surge in the number of children being removed from their homes because of parental substance abuse.

And yet, many continue to believe the crisis is someone else’s problem.

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