"For the last 3 years we have been uniting musicians, videographers, record producers, members of Indiana's recovery community, and health care professionals from all over the state to help us share the story of our nations opioid epidemic through the lives of those who have lived it. The story of this epidemic cannot be reduced to stats and facts. It's about real people that we know and love who are fighting an addiction many of them never signed up for. Our goal with this effort is to unite communities and get them connected with their local recovery efforts. This epidemic is so big it is going to take all of us finding our place in this story." -Eric Maitlen
At the beginning of 2018, our team began building a video-driven concert experience to tell the story of this epidemic through the lives of individuals who had lived it. It’s really hard to get a lot of people to come out to an “informative presentation on opioids,” but it’s not hard to get a decent turnout for a concert, especially when most small towns in Indiana don’t have touring bands coming through. Our goal with the “Our Story Our Time” Tour isn’t just to inform people. We want to hit the heart and make people care about the families that have been devastated by this epidemic. One of the biggest barriers to recovery is the stigma of addiction. No one wants to admit to having a drug addiction, after society has programmed us from birth to think someone with substance abuse disorder is a moral degenerate. America’s stigma of addiction has led to thousands of unnecessary deaths each year. People simply hide their struggle from their friends, their family, and their church for fear of shame and judgment. We want to create a safe space for individuals and families to come out of hiding and get connected with their local recovery resources.
Doug Carter, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, said at one of the meetings I attended, “Until we start caring about human beings as human beings, we are going to lose this battle.” I think he’s right. After all, this epidemic is not about drugs; it’s about people. Our hope is that “Our Story Our Time” will encourage the broken and convict the proud. But we all have a next step to take as we figure out our role in this story. Parents of addicts need counseling and support groups as well. Children of addicts are flooding the foster care system. We are praying that the Church will rise up to these challenges and help reconcile families back into community—families that have felt isolated and have tried to fight this alone for too long.
This Fall Two Eight launched the "Our Story Our Time" online series. It features interviews with people in long term recovery, parents caught in the wake of their child's addiction, foster families, politicians, health care professionals, first responders, recovery leaders, faith leaders, and a new song each month to go along with the episode.
Our goal is to bring hope and share the wins that are happening all around the state in the midst of this crisis! Light always shines brightest in the dark and we can't wait to share with you some of the stories of faith, hope, and love that we are seeing come out of this time of tragedy. Be sure to check back each month to watch the latest episode!
Two Eight Ministries Eric Maitlen sits down with Ben Gonzales to hear his story. Stick around after the interview to see Two Eight's music video for their latest single "Friend".