Indiana State Museum opens exhibit on opioid crisis

New opioid exhibit at Indiana State Museum

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Museum is tackling the Hoosier opioid crisis with a new 7,000-square-foot exhibit.

There are more than a dozen personal experiences and journeys from the grips of addiction to recovery and hope.

Brandon George said he knows exactly what it feels like to be in the grips of addiction. “Hopeless is how I would explain being in the grips of addiction. Cold, lonely, tired, drained.

George, the director of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition, said is recovering from substance abuse and severe opioid use.

State data shows there were over 1,800 drug overdose deaths in Indiana in 2017. “This can happen to any family across Indiana,” George said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday walked through a part of the exhibit called FIX: Heartbreak and Hope. Inside Our Opioid Crisis.

The governor said, “I promise you you will not be able to go through this exhibit without getting chills or tearing up because this will hit close to home.”

At the exhibit, visitors can step inside a giant brain to learn hands-on the real science and biology behind addiction. People can control small robots called Crave Bots to learn about cravings.

Brian Mancuso, vice president of experiences at the museum said it wants to shatter the stigma and tell people “that recovery is possible.

“That it’s ultimately hopeful. That it’s hard work, but it’s not the end of the road. There is hope,” Mancuso said.

George with the Addictions Issues Coalition said he feels like the exhibit tells the real, raw story. “This is really detail-oriented. It focuses both on our history and the hope recovery can bring.”

The exhibit will open to the public for the first time at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Get help now: Indiana’s Next Level Recovery program

  • Call 211 for help 24/7 or click here to go to Connect2Help.
  • Call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit here to chat live with a representative.
  • Through a partnership between Indiana 211 and OpenBeds, people seeking treatment for substance use disorder can be immediately connected with available inpatient or residential treatment services.