Overdose Lifeline wants to help parents and loved ones better communicate with teens who are addicted to opioids.
The addiction advocacy organization received a nearly $100,000 grant from the Anthem Foundation. The money will help cover training for recovering teenagers, who will then teach parents how to use “nonviolent communication.”
Overdose Lifeline Founder Justin Phillips says parents often speak to their kids from a place of fear when talking about substance use.
“We learn in nonviolent communication to listen at a different level and clarify what we’re kind of observiing and how we are affected with our emotions in what we’re observing,” Phillips says. “So that we’re not speaking from an emotional space but rather a compassionate space.”
A group of eight students attending Hope Academy, the state’s only recovery high school, is currently receiving training.
Phillips says teenagers in recovery have personal experience with communication, so they know what works and what doesn’t.
They’ll travel and host events in different counties where community members can learn how to practice nonviolent communication. Those counties include Miami, Fayette, Wayne, and Scott.