Ziemke shares sonsí fight with addiction at drug task force meeting

Ziemke shares sonsí fight with addiction at drug task force meeting

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, May 18, 2017 12:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (May 18, 2017) State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) and her sons, Sean and Connor Ryan, shared their family’s past struggles with drug addiction at a Thursday meeting of the Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.

During their presentation, Sean and Connor gave personal testimony about overcoming heroin addiction and the effectiveness of substance abuse and addiction treatment facilities and programs. Ziemke said it’s crucial for the commission to hear from Hoosiers who continue to lead a successful path to recovery.

“This isn’t easy for me to share, but it’s important that people know that they aren’t alone in the fight with drug addiction,” Ziemke said. “Through Sean and Connor’s personal accounts, it’s my hope that the public will understand that drugs consume families in even the smallest of communities throughout Indiana.”

In the 2017 session, lawmakers enacted several new laws aimed at expanding and investing in statewide addiction treatment options to combat Indiana’s heroin and opioid epidemic. Ziemke, along with fellow members of the commission, also approved the following drug-related programs passed by the General Assembly:

  • Senate Enrolled Act 243 establishes a pilot program to increase the number of qualified physicians allowed to prescribe certain controlled substances to treat opioid dependency;
  • Senate Enrolled Act 446 creates a pilot program to assist expecting or new mothers dealing with opioid addiction by providing treatment and parent counseling at three different residential-care facilities;
  • Senate Enrolled Act 499 establishes a three-year pilot program in Marion, Tippecanoe and Wayne counties to provide valuable information on the effectiveness of treating opioid addiction before incarceration; and
  • Senate Enrolled Act 510 launches an alternative treatment program to fight the drug epidemic in Allen County by allowing them to participate in a sober living community. This program will work to lower the amount of relapses for those addicted and save Hoosier lives.

“Sean and Connor have been sober for more than two years,” Ziemke said. “Sean works in Southern California where he’s helping other addicts get the treatment they need and Connor moved home to go back to school. I’ve been open and honest about our story, so Hoosier families grappling with drug addiction know that help is available to them.”

For individuals seeking addiction treatment services, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/index.htm.

This is the Commission to Combat Drug Abuse’s second meeting this year. The commission was created to coordinate substance abuse prevention, treatment and enforcement throughout Indiana.

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State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties

A high-resolution photo of Ziemke can be downloaded by clicking here.