St.Vincent, DPS co-hosting Community Conversation to discuss heroin issues

Jen Dial

INDIANAPOLIS - Heroin and the challenges it poses to the community will be the focus of a Community Conversation to be held Wednesday, co-hosted by St.Vincent Indianapolis and the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

A panel of health care, emergency medical service, stress and public safety experts will join with members of the Indianapolis community to discuss the growing problem of heroin use and identify ways to combat it.

The event is at St.Vincent Indianapolis at 2001 W. 86th Street (Entrance 8) and begins at 6 p.m.

"Heroin is a growing problem across the country and we believe it is driving many of the crimes we see in our community every day," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. "There is a direct connection between heroin and many of our robberies, larcenies and other incidents. People are taking drastic measures to support their addictions and we have to work together to put a stop to it."

According to St.Vincent, emotional difficulties and substance abuse, if left untreated, can destroy hope, peace of mind and relationships, and can eventually erode physical health and the human spirit.

"Over the past few years, the St.Vincent Emergency Department has seen an increase in the number of heroin overdose cases," said Sheila Mishler, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, executive director, St.Vincent Stress Center and patient services. "The critical care units and inpatient medical units have also seen an increase in heroin-addicted patients presenting with medical problems. The St.Vincent Stress Center has received a sharp increase of inquiries from area residents seeking information about heroin addiction and treatment options. As a concerned community partner, St.Vincent is hosting this community conversation with DPS to address questions and concerns from area residents about the rise of heroin use and heroin-related crime."

The St.Vincent Stress Center assists individuals in breaking the cycles of addiction and developing healthier and more adaptive coping skills. The treatment team consists of board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, clinicians and licensed counselors. Services available include: Access center for assessment and referral 24/7, triage and intervention; inpatient; partial hospitalization; intensive outpatient programs; young adult programs (ages 18-25); outpatient therapy groups;  inpatient detoxification; inpatient dual disorders (psychiatric and addiction); and certified PRIME for Life Program.

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St.Vincent Hospitals and Health Services
Driven by the faith of four Daughters of Charity who arrived in Indianapolis in 1881 with $34.77 in their pockets, the St.Vincent Hospital mission is to treat the poor and sick by following our Core Values of Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication. Our healthcare ministry has grown to include seven Centers of Excellence: Women's, Children's, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Cancer Care and Bariatrics. The ageless mission of St.Vincent remains unchanged: to minister to the minds, bodies and spirits of those in need.