Chamber Lunch to Spotlight Heroin Use in Porter County

2014-03-12T16:52:00Z Chamber Lunch to Spotlight Heroin Use in Porter CountyContributed by Allyson Baughman nwitimes.com
March 12, 2014 4:52 pm  • 

CHESTERTON | Dr. Mann Spitler – a local physician whose daughter Manda died of a heroin overdose at the age of 20 – will be providing the keynote presentation during the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon on Wednesday, March 26. The Hilton Garden Inn (located at 501 N. Gateway Blvd. in Chesterton, Indiana) will host the event, which will be held from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Pre-registration is required.

In 2002, Dr. Spitler found his daughter unconscious and submerged in a bathtub filled with deep water. Manda had self-administered a lethal dose of heroin, and she died later that morning at the age of 20. Since her passing, Dr. Spitler has shared “Manda’s Story” with every school, drug treatment facility, community service organization, church youth group and prison that has invited him in an effort to evidence change in the public mindset regarding heroin users in Porter County.

“The first change I hope to accomplish by telling [my daughter’s] story is from unawareness and ignorance of drug addiction to awareness and understanding of drug addiction,” said Dr. Spitler. “I once had a vague, intellectual appreciation of drug use in our area as Manda grew up, but discounted its danger to her. I viewed it as I had during my college days--a small subculture that had little to no effect on my family. I witnessed none of it, as it was well concealed in our community. Drug experimentation and addiction seemed foreign and distant to me. It took my daughter's death for me to begin to change my perception of what was and is an epidemic of drug use and addiction here in Porter County.”

This event is open to the public. Ticket prices are $12-$14 for Chamber members, and $16 for community members. For more information or to RSVP, please call the Duneland Chamber of Commerce at (219) 926-5513, visit www.dunelandchamber.org, or email info@dunelandchamber.org. Financial support for March’s Monthly Luncheon is provided by Porter Regional Hospital and Frontline Foundations, Inc.

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