Tony Hoffman shares from the heart and soul a journey no individual should ever have to take. He holds nothing back as he speaks with intense emotion and shares how poor self-esteem and negative decisions led to substance use and then years of abuse. When Tony was speaking one could feel his emotions and connect with him. His journey came alive in his talk, and the way individuals felt connected to him was phenomenal.
— Andrea Vogel, MSW, LSW Communities That Care Program Director

There are several hot spots around the United States when it comes to the opioid epidemic, mainly they are in the midwest and eastern seaboard. One of the only states I have not previously been to for my motivational speaking is, Indiana. A spot that is well known across the county as a state that is having a larger issue with the epidemic than most states. To finally make it to the state was definitely an honor i'm extremely grateful for! I would be heading to Columbus, Indiana to be apart of the Desperate Households Conference put on by the Bartholomew County substance abuse Council & Communities that Care organizations. 

I think conferences of this type are extremely important. That is a few speakers who bring the real life stories of the dark struggles addiction brings to an individuals life and also some science based speakers who can speak on the psychology of an addict and what exactly is going on as well as the medical options available for us to help those who are struggling with addiction. I got to meet with the ladies involved in the organization and they were all extremely sweet and dedicated to putting on this event and making these things happen is not easy, trust me. I really enjoyed listening to the doctor that they had speak. She had some really informative stuff to share and great insight into the mind of an addict. 

My time would be spent speaking to nearly 250 people in the morning and a open community event in the evening. I felt like both events were extremely good and the questions during both were pretty good questions. One of the best questioned i've been asked by anyone in the professional side of treatment, came from this event. "What do you think treatment centers could have offered you that would have helped you get sober sooner" My answer? "Medical Detox." Medical Detox centers currently cost $2,000 or more dollars for a two week stay. If you have a great insurance policy you can find yourself in one of these detoxes or if you have the cash you can also but what if you don't? It's not a secret that most of the country does not have $2,000 extra dollars to spend on a detox facility that doesn't promise long term sobriety. They for sure don't have amazing PPO health insurance policies that will cover these stays either. The biggest struggle when getting off of opioids like Oxycontin, Opana, Percocet, Vicodin, fentanyl or heroin is that the withdraw symptoms are so painful and emotionally challenging the person can not get through them without using or leaving a location they are at trying to get sober. Medical detox facilities give patients the proper medication that can limit withdraw symptoms making them much more tolerable through the hardest phase. Once they pass through the hardest phase you can transition into a treatment center and begin a higher level of care that leads to long term sobriety. 

Our country needs to man up and provide medical detox centers to addicts who are ready for treatment and to be honest, the pharmaceutical companies who have created these pain killers need to be footing the bill. Think about it, the pharm companies are making billions of dollars on us and making addicts out of so many, part of those profits should be spent on building treatment infrastructure, starting with medical detox facilities to help streamline the care process. 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who brought me to Columbus, Indiana! I had an outstanding time with you! I hope we meet again.