EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – On “Overdose Awareness Day” the Evansville Recovery Alliance worked spread more awareness to the overdose crisis and remember those who have lost their lives.

One of the many things discussed alliance discussed how most families or friend groups in some way shape or form have been affected by overdoses and the more it’s discussed the more it breaks down barriers and opens up discussions.

Public stigma and criminalization are just two barriers Evansville Recovery Alliance co-founder Lavender Timmons says are what people deal with when trying to fight substance abuse.

Free Narcan was given out at the event as well and after their partnership with Deaconess Hospital providing Narcan through a vending machine the alliance has been told is has really made a difference in the community.

“I’ve lost count how many people I’ve actually lost to overdoses and substance use,” stated Timmons. “So it’s extremely personal and extremely close to home to me. We know that Narcan saves lives. So that was something that we wanted to bring to Evansville,” she added. “We’ve definitely seen an impact. A lot of community embracing. Everyone’s carrying Narcan now, so a lot of people are saving each other’s lives, which is really touching.”

For Timmons she has dealt with substance abuse since she was a teenager and as she is now in recovery she wants provide the same change in her community.

“Hopefully it’s just the beginning of something,” said Timmons. “We would like to see free medicine for all people, for all disabilities, these stigmatization for all disabilities and all all issues people are facing. So we’re hoping it inspires other people to do the same.”