Recovering Addicts, Advocates Speak Frankly During Candlelight Vigil

Vigil 1Moving Starke County Forward is working to reduce the stigma attached to drug abuse and deaths due to overdoses. The 56 ribbons that have lined the front lawn of Starke Hospital for the past few weeks represent local lives lost to drug overdoses over the past seven years. They were moved to Wythogan Park in Knox last night for the second annual candlelight vigil to remember lives lost and celebrate those who are in recovery. Continue reading

Moving Starke County Forward Hosts Overdose Awareness Service

Overdose Awareness 1
Aaron Kochar from Porter-Starke Services lights a candle in memory of a life lost to a drug overdose. A total of 61 candles were lit during last evening’s ceremony.

Community members paused last night at Wythogan Park to celebrate the 61 Starke County lives lost to drug overdoses over the past seven years as well as those who are in long-term recovery. Aaron Kochar is the director of prevention and education at Porter-Starke Services. He says people are now more likely to die from a fatal overdose than from a car accident.

“Up until last year, if you died in an accident it was some sort of motor vehicle accident. Now it’s overdose. Another statistic that is concerning is the fact that while a number of people will die in overdose from heroin, in fact we’ve got about three times the number who will die from a prescription opioid overdose.” Continue reading

Sunday Vigil to Mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Overdose awareness
The ribbons on the lawn at IU Health Starke Hospital represent local victims of overdoses over the past seven years.

Moving Starke County Forward is trying to take the stigma out of drug overdoses with a Sunday evening event at Wythogan Park in Knox. Advocates and community members will remember the 61 lives lost in Starke County with a candlelight vigil and share information about the perils and pitfalls of drug use. Jordan Morris from Starke County Community Corrections says people who use drugs are less likely to be aware of the potential consequences of their actions. She  says common rationalizations include “I know my limit” or “I always test what I get first, so I know the strength of it.” She adds mixing different types of drugs can often prove fatal. Continue reading