SPENCER, Ind. (WTHR) — An Indiana mother who lost her daughter to addiction years ago says a new pilot program in the state is not enough.
The program allows officials in three Indiana counties to essentially force people with life threatening drug addiction into treatment.
Sharon Blair lost her daughter Jennifer in 2009, long before many of us had even heard of opioids. Now eight years later she is still fighting for her daughter and the thousands of others just like her.
Jennifer battled addiction for 13 years before eventually losing that fight at the age of 29.
“There is a stigma to mental health issues, a stigma to addiction issues.” said Blair. “That is another reason I speak out. I am not ashamed that my daughter suffered from addiction. I am sad I could not get her the help that she needed to save her life.”
Now that she sees the state starting a three year, three county pilot program, she feels compelled to speak up.
“That is a long time for now. My concern is what about all other counties not in those three districts that need help right now,” said Blair. “For somebody who is getting ready to die, they can’t wait. We are losing 144 people a day in the U.S. to overdose. That number keeps climbing,” she continued.
Blair would like to simplify the process by naming it after her daughter Jennifer. If someone needs immediate help and needs to be committed, she would like them to be able to simply call it “Jennifer’s law.”
“It’s too complicated and people die with all the red tape and complications. Someone is going to die, so it’s time, it’s past time to do this for Indiana Hoosiers to help families,” she said.
Sharon Blair says she will be back at the statehouse in January if she is needed, and she says she is also working with Senator Joe Donnelly on similar legislation on Jennifer’s law.
Filed under: Opioid