On this episode of Badass we are sharing a story from the front lines of the opioid epidemic in Indiana. Over the past 22 years it has claimed many lives, particularly in the rust belt, where the loss of manufacturing jobs has gutted once thriving communities. In 2020 the pandemic hit, and the already devastating numbers skyrocketed. Indiana has had some of the nation’s worst statistics. In 2017 we had the third highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, with 1,800 deaths from drug overdose, 63% of which were opioid deaths. Then, in 2020, we saw a 41% increase in overdose deaths after the onset of the pandemic. 2021 brought another 21% leap, with 2,755 deaths in Indiana due to drug overdose. Around 90% of those deaths were caused by opioid overdose.
2,755 is a number. We know it is a number that represents something, but yet it remains faceless, nameless, a statistic, and one of many difficult statistics that fly though our brains as we listen to the news. Today on Badass we are pulling just one of those 2,755 people represented in that number out of the shadows. We are giving him a name, we are sharing his story, and the story of those who were left behind. His name is Joshua Cole, people who knew him called him Josh, and when he died in February of 2021, he left behind 3 young children, and a wife who was 7 months pregnant, her name is Lindsey.
About our Guest
Lindsey Maxwell was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana. She is a mom to four young children, and owns a small business, Blissful Transition, where she provides families with organization, cleaning, and postpartum support. Lindsey graduated in 2010 from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Health Science, specializing in Human Development & Family Studies, Psychology, and Sociology. She has professional experience as a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, early childcare worker, and home organizer. She loves binging a juicy docuseries, spending time outside with her kids and her current partner, and feeling connected within her community.