Hamilton County mother travels to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of drug abuse crisis

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FISHERS, Ind. (Oct. 1, 2015)-- A Hamilton County mother is taking action to increase awareness of Indiana’s skyrocketing drug abuse problem. She’s leaving for Washington, D.C. on Friday, where she wants her voice to be heard.

Gina Bardach started a support group in October of 2014 to offer an open community to addicts and families dealing with addiction in Hamilton County. She said state and national leaders must do more now that Indiana’s drug problem is a crisis.

“We’re in bad, bad shape. And it could take years to see any kind of resolution,” she said.

The pain of addiction hits home for Bardach. The fishers mom started “Hope and Overcoming” after seeing her son Brandon struggle with addiction to prescription pills and heroin. He’s 30 months clean now, but this mom is still fighting for her son and others.

“What we need is emergency funding, emergency help from state and federal government,” she said.

Bardach leaves Friday morning bound for the nation’s capital. Sunday, she will attend a star-studded rally called ‘Unite to Face Addiction.

Monday she will take her message to Capitol Hill during an advocacy day.

“I’m going to represent not just district 5 but all of Indiana and meet with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, staff of Joe Donnelly, Dan Coats,” she said, “What I tell them is that Indiana’s suffering more and more every day.”

Bardach said it’s a start that Governor Mike Pence has a task force looking into the state’s drug issues, but most crucial she believes is getting more treatment options in Indiana fast.

“I’m going to tell you, every intervention that Hope and Vvercoming’s done and put people in treatment, they’ve gone out of state,” she said.

Kylie Williams watched her brother Robby struggle with addiction. It’s a fight the drugs won.

“Earlier this year my brother actually fatally overdosed, and I found him while I was on my way to classes at IUPUI,” she said.

Now, she talks to high schoolers in Hamilton County through Hope and Overcoming to offer a real perspective of the dangers

“We have to get through to people, because nobody knows it’s actually here. It’s the definition of desperate housewives, sweep it under the rug, nobody’s going to know,” she said.

Thursday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly sent a letter to the co-chairs of Governor Mike Pence’s task force with suggestions, like expanding access to drug courts. Donnelly noted that the state must make a commitment to implementing and funding any programs.

The next task force meeting is October 15 in Evansville.

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