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Opinion
Sober-living homes bring hope

People looking to lead a sober life have more hope than ever thanks to the leaders at Hope House of Marion.

Two sober-living homes will open April 1, says Shane Beal, director of Hope House Marion. One will be for men, and one will be for women.

This announcement is huge for our community, and it’s great to see persistence pay off for someone who has been vocal about helping people fighting addiction in our community.

In June 2019, an anonymous donor gifted a 2,600-square-foot home to the organization, but the Marion Board of Zoning Appeals denied a variance for the location since it wasn’t zoned for high-density, multi-family use, according to Chronicle-Tribune reports.

Instead of giving up, Beal and his team now have a solid plan in place that will give people in Grant County more options than before to try and beat the grip of addiction.

For perspective, things in America are getting better, slowly but surely, thanks to an increased effort to educate the public on drug addiction and a concerted effort to prescribe less pain pills due to their addictive nature. This improvement is thanks to dedicated individuals, like all of our health officials and advocates.

According to the National Institute of Drug Use (NIDU), overdoses dropped by about 1,000 deaths in 2018 compared to the peak in 2017 of approximately 47,600 people.

While addiction is often painted as something that only affects people who engage in illegal activity, there were at least 14,000 overdose deaths in 2018 associated with prescription opioids, according to NIDU.

Although nothing beats intensive psychiatrist-led addiction recovery programs, sober living homes are known by researchers to have many benefits.

According to a peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, a review of 300 people in sober-living homes found that “improvements were noted in alcohol and drug use, arrests, psychiatric symptoms and employment.”

With a lack of access to mental health services in rural communities, sober living homes are a great step toward progress. When people join forces to hold each other accountable for their actions, good things happen.

The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs article mentioned that when coupled with 12-step meetings or other educational initiatives, the sober-living homes saw even more significant outcomes.

Of course no road to recovery is easy, but this should bring hope to a situation that can feel defeating at times.

The people who are rehabilitated by the sober living home or any other treatment will need to continue to find support, but sober living homes will help get more people on the right track.

It is up to all of us to never give up hope on protecting our community from addiction in all forms.

We can all, in our own ways, help further the success we are seeing in the statistics related to drug addiction and overdoses. The key is to never give up these efforts, however, because addiction never gives up its grasps.

Let’s support one another and do our part. Our community counts on it.

Thanks to Hope House, we have hope.


Letters_to_editor
Letter

Watch the Fifth District congressional debate

Editor,

Most of us have used the internet to shop for important items such as cars and appliances. We then choose which brand to buy feeling much more confident that we will be satisfied with the product.

Why can’t we do this for candidates for Congress, especially for the May 7 Fifth Congressional District primary elections? The answer is, “We can.”

Indiana Town Halls – a new, nonpartisan organization dedicated to strengthening confidence, trust and accountability in our elections – intends to make this possible. We believe direct candidate interaction with citizens in public forums is essential for restoring the lost trust in Congress and our political parties – and for making an informed choice.

We have invited the 16 District Five Republican primary candidates on Monday, March 16 starting at 7 p.m. We have invited the five Democratic primary candidates for the second forum on Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. The Town Halls will be held at the 350-seat Ivy Tech Recreation Annex Auditorium in Noblesville, located at 300 North 17th Street.

We urge District Five citizens to attend the primary Town Halls. We promise the conversations will be civil and respectful in an atmosphere without the rancor and hostility of the traditional debate format.

We urge you to spread the word to neighbors and friends that Fifth District Town Hall participation is an opportunity for citizens to compare candidates’ qualifications and views before voting.

Jim Shella,

Indianapolis, Indiana

A story from Jalapa

Editor,

A man's castle is his home. His eight-story observatory tower is my favorite room. Peering through the 1 meter telescope on clear nights, we bet on the giant, rogue asteroids we spot. Which one will destroy our planet 70 billion years from now? One of us will become filthy rich.

His two large hounds guard the estate, stopping everyone who dares to enter. Being related to their master means nothing to them, or to their long fangs.

A perfectly counter-balanced drawbridge spans the moat. It is quickly and almost effortlessly raised or lowered.

The armory is well stocked with longbows, crossbows, arrows, bolts, and swords. Large vats of oil ready to boil, and tar waiting to melt are placed along the high walls.

Envious of his armory, and curious why he is so much better prepared than I for repelling invaders, he told me his spy satellites spotted the soldiers making a comeback. But most threatening to him, tax collectors never give up.

At my age the only jousting I can manage is around his enormous banquet table. The sharpest elbow usually wins the last slice of sugar pie.

Joe David Stephens

Jalapa, Indiana