Tag: heroin

Non-profit focuses on harm reduction for IV drug users

Non-profit focuses on harm reduction for IV drug users

 

NOTE: This is Part 1 of a profile on Indiana Recovery Alliance. The second segment will be part of a larger special feature on the impact of heroin use on social and community services in Indiana. The full package will be published in upcoming months.

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Social worker Chris Abert started a non-profit outreach service to help those at risk for disease and death due to intravenous drug use. With heroin use and HIV diagnoses in Indiana reaching epidemic proportion, his agency has grown from three to more than 60 volunteers.

The Indiana Recovery Alliance focuses on harm reduction in whatever manner the person deems necessary. Abert said volunteers meet people where they are and focus on facilitating any positive change as people want for themselves.

That can manifest itself in many different ways.

Abert says that positive impact can range from abstinence to clean needles to condoms. It also means that Indiana Recovery Alliance will provide people with clothes, rugs to use as sleeping mats, shoes, sanitary napkins and many other necessities that help them continue to feel human.

Once a week, IRA volunteers climb in their long, silver van and go out to meet people and provide for their needs. The Chicago Recovery Alliance sold the van to IRA for $1, which the agency still owes, because, Abert said, “We don’t have a dollar.”

With the heroin and HIV epidemic that exploded this spring, Abert said his volunteer numbers have increased, but what the agency needs more than anything are monetary donations. For those who would like to donate money, go to IRA’s Facebook page or website at indianarecoveryalliance.org.

If you’d like to donate something, but don’t have money to spare, Abert said IRA could use medical or other supplies distributed or used when the van goes out in the community.

Another way to help, he said, would be for churches or other organizations to host coat drives. IRA distributes the coats to those exposed to inclement and winter weather.

Here’s an introduction to the Indiana Recovery Alliance:

Chris Abert talks about harm reduction and The Indiana Recovery Alliance.
(Video by Linda Margison)

Young Eagles: Pilot shares love of aviation with young people

The Heroin Project: Community steps up to fight addiction

19-year-old wants to ‘be the change’ as she faces bipolar disorder

Nashville mom shares passion for flowers with young daughters

Bloomington’s 4th Street Festival a hot ticket for arts enthusiasts

Veteran photographer evolves from journalist to artist

Mom gives daughter legacy by speaking against drunk driving

Graduate pursues art therapy career after suicide attempt

Ordinary Hoosier Cari Ray talks about roots, music and cowboy boots

21-year-old stays positive in battle with chronic adrenal fatigue

Brown County musician encourages consumers to shop local

Glimpse: Daughter shares memory of mom at Alzheimer’s walk

Activism: IU students march to raise awareness of climate change

Volunteer spotlight: Mom leads fundraiser for weekend meal program

What a hoop! Hudsucker Posse brings circus-style flow arts to town

Fricktion: Office worker by day, hip hop performer by night

A fading tradition: Hoosier finds passion caring for family, elderly

Preserving traditions: Casandra Karl teaches Papel Picado art

Heroin Hits Home Series: Parents share their story of addiction

The Heroin Project: Non-profit focuses on harm reduction for IV drug users

Habitat raises funds, and then walls, to get family in home by the holidays

Regional Report: Brown County revs up for October tourism

Small-town optometrist lives dream by building relationships with patients

Feature: Pole-vaulter sets high goals for herself and her future

Grandma, pearls ignite jewelry designer’s passion for art

Feature: Ashley Day brings big-city fashion to small town

Learn about Ordinary Hoosiers and Margison Creative Services