(INDIANAPOLIS) — More than 200,000 employed Hoosiers are currently struggling with addiction. Businesses across the state have an opportunity to help their employees address the problem and learn prevention methods by attending free meetings set for March and April.

Indiana Workforce Recovery, which is putting on these educational events, is a joint initiative created in collaboration with the Wellness Council of Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration. The goal of the initiative is to prepare Hoosier employers to deal with public health crises that impact the Indiana workforce.

“In 2019, we welcomed more than 600 business participants to these events giving them the tools they need to manage the impact of substance misuse on their employees,” says Mike Thibideau, director of Indiana Workforce Recovery. “Our work is not done; nearly 800,000 Hoosiers have used illicit drugs in the past month. The knowledge, experience and resources gained in these sessions will help employers address the full spectrum of addiction issues from recreational marijuana to severe opioid dependence.”

Each session includes legal guidance from an employer’s perspective, input from local leaders in the treatment and recovery effort, and a statewide perspective from the Family and Social Services Administration. An optional segment on administering Naloxone in an overdose emergency is also included.

Upcoming employer sessions include:

March 3 – Bartholomew County, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,  at the Columbus Learning Center, 4555 Central Ave., Columbus;

March 9 – Dearborn County, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Ivy Tech Community College Riverfront Campus, fourth floor in the Business Conference Center, 50 Walnut St., Lawrenceburg;

March 17 – Knox County, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Vincennes University Indiana Center for Applied Technology, 1500 Chestnut St., Vincennes;

March 18 – Howard and Tipton counties, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library South Branch, Cardinal and Peony Room, 1775 E Center Road, Kokomo;

April 2 – Henry County, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Henry County REMC, 3400 S. State Road 3, New Castle;

April 7 – Downtown Indianapolis, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, 115 W. Washington St., Suite 850S, Indianapolis;

April 8 – Wayne County, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Reid Health, Lingle Grand Hall, 1100 Reid Parkway, Richmond; and

April 27 – Indianapolis (northwest), 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the St. Vincent William K. Nasser, MD Healthcare Education and Simulation Center, Auditorium and Lower Atrium, 1801 W. 86th St., Indianapolis.

While the gatherings are complimentary, registration is preferred. Companies can register at www.wellnessindiana.org/recovery (under Upcoming Events and see other locations/dates), plus learn more about Indiana Workforce Recovery.

The events are presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Community Health Network, IU Health, Parkview Health, St. Vincent/Ascension the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, RALI (Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative), the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and the Vectren Foundation, as well as local chambers of commerce.

Earlier this month, the Wellness Council of Indiana also announced a new addiction treatment and recovery program via Centerstone, a mental health and addiction treatment services provider. Through the exclusive partnership, any Indiana employer can give their current or prospective workers a second chance through this award-winning model recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. More information is available at www.wellnessindiana.org/secondchance.


The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”