INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Opioid overdose and death rates are growing, but the ethnic breakdown shows the black community has seen a more aggressive spike, according to data from the state.
An Indy nonprofit is taking aim at opioid crisis through education and outreach.
21 years is how long Yvette Markey has been in recovery. It’s been a battle and she’s using her story to inspire others.
Not far from Wes Montgomery park is Beechwood Gardens apartments, Markey grew up there and this is the community she’s continuing her work.
“The number of African-American youth, young adults, and adults that are dying in 46218 it’s just totally unacceptable and heart breaking,” Markey said.
After losing a couple of close family friends to opioid overdose she was catapulted into pursuing a plan she’s long had.
She developed her non-profit In Touch Outreach Recovery Center, became a certified peer recovery coach and is starting out on a new campaign.
“If they had Narcan in their pocket or in their hand or if one of their home boys had it in their pocket they would be alive,” Markey said.
All this summer, she and her team will hold “Understand the Can” workshops. Short for Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal medication.
It’ll be a place for family and others looking to curb the opioid crisis to find resources, support and community.
Holding its first at Wes Montgomery park, while others will be later held at Bethel, Douglas, Riverside and Gardner parks.
“For people of color to be comfortable with being able to come and talk about their issues and their problems without the fear of judgment or stigma,” Markey said.
Through the work she has found that many don’t know Narcan exists, and administering it is simple.
Despite concerns that it’s use provides a safety net to users saving lives is what really counts.
“Inspiration in the education and the motivation. I feel that with those three things we can start to change the narrative and inspire some hope,” Markey said.