University News

Tech Talks series to shed light on America’s opioid crisis

September 6, 2018

Indiana Tech’s second Tech Talks series will tackle our nation’s opioid problem. The series begins Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m., in the Snyder Academic Center Multi-Flex Theater with The Opioid Recovery Experience. During that event, Kelly Kessens, director of the Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency Program at Phoenix Associates Counseling Center in Fort Wayne, will tell her personal story about her own struggle with addictions, including her journey to sobriety and the detours along the way. Attendees will hear about the fine line she walks daily, juggling her own addictions and those belonging to her clients.

“The opioid problem is a critical social issue, one that affects a wide range of people, and we feel it will resonate with our students and our community,” said associate professor of English and coordinator of the Tech Talks planning team, Cortney Robbins. “Like with all Tech Talks topics, we hope students see how this social issue may affect them in their future careers and how it affects society as a whole.”

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency because of the widespread misuse of and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

The previous year, HHS reported that 42,249 people died from overdosing on opioids and the opioid epidemic had cost the country $504 billion, including the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement. Without question, this is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

Learn more about this year’s Tech Talks series at

Tech Talks is a collaboration between our College of Arts and Sciences and our Office of Student Affairs. The series was created in 2017 to promote active awareness about important social issues of the day. Free events are presented throughout the academic year to reinforce the central theme for students, faculty, staff and members of the community.