Griffith to Feature Two Speakers Regarding Heroin Epidemic

Dr. Mann Spitler to speak at Griffith High School tomorrow, April 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.; Coroner Frey to address Crime Watch on April 20

April 101, 2017-Griffith Public Schools is addressing recent spikes in heroin overdoses with a nationally recognized speaker. Dr. Mann Spitler will present on Tuesday April 11 at 7:00 p.m. Manda Spitler died at age 20 of a self-injected heroin overdose in 2002. Dr. Spitler says the purpose of telling Manda’s story is to raise awareness of the epidemic of heroin addiction:

Since December 2002, I have spoken to every school, drug treatment facility, community service organization, church youth group and prison that has invited me. I have felt compelled to do so for many reasons. But, the most obvious reason was to give some purpose and meaning to Manda’s senseless and tragic death. I felt that her story could give some insight, empowerment or inspiration to some of those who heard it. In so doing, it could affect some change in them from a course of self-destruction to a safe, long, rewarding and productive life. The feedback I have received from parents, teachers, school principals and teenagers themselves has verified the power of “Manda’s Story.”

So, the purpose of “Manda’s Story” and of this web site in its purest and most
simplistic form is change. The first change I hope to accomplish by telling her story is from unawareness and ignorance of drug addiction to awareness and understanding of drug addiction. I once had a vague, intellectual appreciation of drug use in our area as Manda grew up, but discounted its danger to her. I viewed it as I had during my college days–a small subculture that had little to no effect on my family. I witnessed none of it, as it was well concealed in our community. Drug experimentation and addiction seemed foreign and distant to me. It took my daughter’s death for me to begin to change my perception of what was and is an epidemic of drug use and addiction here in Porter County.

Dr. Spitler will speak to students during the day and the public is invited to the evening event.

On Thursday April 20, 2017, Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey will address the Griffith Crime Watch regarding the heroin addiction. Coroner Frey has been at the forefront of the battle against opioid addiction. The meeting will take place at Griffith High School on April 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

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