Inaugural Indiana Employer Opioid Summit Tackles Increased Addiction Amid The Pandemic

(INDIANAPOLIS) — A new event presented by the Wellness Council of Indiana (WCI) and Indiana Chamber of Commerce will offer insights for employers on how to support their workers struggling with substance abuse. The Indiana Employer Opioid Summit takes place on September 16 in a virtual format.

The full-day summit is the latest programming from Indiana Workforce Recovery – an initiative formed in 2018 by the Indiana Chamber and WCI in partnership with Governor Holcomb’s administration – to address drug addiction in the workplace.

“This is an opportunity for Hoosier businesses to learn from other businesses that are leading the charge with innovative actions in their communities and workplace environments,” says Mike Thibideau, director of Indiana Workforce Recovery. “Everyone who attends should walk away with a real understanding of how they can be a part of the solution.”

Among the agenda, highlights are cutting-edge strategies for retaining workers and how to build connections between employers and the treatment/recovery communities.

The event comes at a time when the need for proactive employer support is increasing. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) says addiction hotline calls have skyrocketed during the pandemic, with an over 700% increase in demand for addiction services in the state.

“This is going to be felt by Hoosier employers,” Thibideau says. “So, having policies and a culture in place to support the well-being of employees battling addiction is going to be crucial and it will make an impact – on both the individual and the company in getting through this unprecedented time.”

National recovery advocate and best-selling author Brian Cuban, the brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, will deliver the morning’s live streamed keynote. Cuban is in his 13th year of recovery himself – from eating disorders, as well as extensive drug and alcohol abuse. He is a strong national voice on the topic, with his most recent best-seller entitled The Addicted Lawyer. Cuban gives a preview of his story on the latest IN Chamber podcast at www.indianachamber.com/podcast.

Indiana FSSA secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan headlines the summit’s afternoon segment.

Breakout sessions will be led by both businesses and recovery stakeholders, including Anthem Indiana, the Cook Group, Goodwill Industries, the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana University, Mental Health America of Indiana, and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

The summit’s list price is $350. It is free for WCI member organizations, $150 for non-profits, and $250 for Indiana Chamber member businesses. Register online at wellnessindiana.org or call (800) 824-6855.

The summit presenting sponsor is RALI Indiana. Platinum sponsors are the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and Indiana University’s Grand Challenges program. Aspire Indiana Health, Groups Recover Together and Ivy Tech Community College are the silver sponsors.

Additional sponsorships are available. Contact Mike Thibideau at mthibideau@indianachamber.com or (317) 264-2166 for more information.

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