FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis

Where there's life, there's hope

From crisis to resolution: shifting our focus

The United States is in the middle of a crisis. A crisis that’s impacting our families and communities, and Indiana is at the epicenter: opioid use disorder.

At the Indiana State Museum, you’re invited to talk about it.

In a powerful new exhibit—FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis—the Indiana State Museum is committed to finding ways for Indiana communities to come together to shift the conversation and break the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder. Our goal is to remove the shame and isolation surrounding this disease showing how all of us can play a pivotal role in managing this devastating crisis.

Covering 7,000 square feet, FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis invites you to unravel the crisis one step at a time, including the science and biology behind opioid use disorder, our nation’s history with other health crises, personal stories from impacted Hoosiers, and the various roads to recovery. Using a mix of art, science, multi-media, hands-on interactives and inspiring artwork, the exhibit will help you better understand the nature of addiction, how we got here and what we can all do to help change the course we’re on and move our state from crisis to resolution.

"Substance use impacts our family, friends and neighbors. That's why continuing to help more people enter recovery will always remain a top priority. The more we know about the ways it affects people, the better equipped we'll be to avoid dependence or support someone you love."

— Governor Eric J. Holcomb —

Exhibit Highlights

“This experience has changed my life. Now I see people and think, 'what happened in their life to put them here? How can I help'?”

Inside the exhibit, you’ll be given the opportunity to dive deeper into your own level of understanding when it comes to substance use and opioids. You’ll also see how your perceptions and ideas about this crisis compare with others from around the state. What do you know about opioids? How are you impacted by cravings? How does that relate to addiction? Using this baseline of knowledge, you’ll be given the tools you need to start to build empathy for those impacted by this crisis, and ultimately minimize the damaging stigma.

Through hands-on interactives, you’ll explore our society’s relationship with pain management and understand how our bodies use pain sensors to help keep us safe. You’ll also be challenged in an interactive game called Crave Bot, which shows you how your cravings for things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and even social media can influence your motivations in ways that sometimes overcome your ability to control.

“You're not dealing with a character defect. You're dealing with biology.”

Step inside a giant brain and explore the science behind substance use disorder. How do opioids work? What happens when you quit using them? What makes them so powerful? Through a series of animated videos that show how opioids can hijack our neuro pathways, you’ll discover the chemical changes that are taking place inside the brain and how opioids change your thought and behavioral patterns. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the opioid crisis from a teen’s unique perspective through a powerful adaptation of a theater production developed by the Young Actors Theatre called Love Over Dose, the story of a teenage overdose and its impact on friends, family and the community.

“We have the chance to transform into entirely new, more compassionate human beings with the potential to not only put an end to the opioid crisis, but to transform society.”

When it comes to the opioid conversation, learning how to shift your language can have a meaningful impact on reducing the stigma that often prevents people from getting the help they need. Highlighting the power of words, this exhibit offers a unique opportunity to engage in interactive conversations, providing you with the tools you need to more constructively talk about opioid use disorder. The right words can make all the difference in the world.

“There are multiple pathways to recovery.”

Addressing the four key dimensions of recovery, FIX aims to bring the story home to all four corners of our state. When you see how the crisis (and the stories of recovery) are unfolding across Indiana, you’ll see the trends are shifting. You’ll see the vibrancy of our recovery communities. You’ll learn about how local and state policies have changed, county by county. And how, as a state, we’re beginning to change our attitudes about how we’re addressing this crisis. And that is what gives us so much hope.

It’s our hope to inspire you to think critically and take action when it comes to finding solutions to the crisis within your own community. Along with the exhibit, programming addressing the crisis will take place at the museum in downtown Indianapolis, as well as the 11 historic sites statewide addressing the crisis—from panel discussions to town hall-style meetings. The programming will extend beyond the run of the exhibit, for as long as the communities see a need for them.

Special Thanks

  • A Better Life - Brianna’s Hope

  • Bill Foley, artist

  • C. Thomas Lewis, artist

  • Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush

  • Clarksville Fire Department

  • Crawfordsville Fire Department

  • CVS Pharmacy

  • Dove Recovery House

  • Dr. Diane Begley

  • Eskenazi Health

  • Fairbanks Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Center

  • Governor Eric Holcomb’s Office

  • Hope Academy

  • Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition

  • Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse

  • Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

  • Indiana Next Level Recovery

  • Indiana OUD ECHO Program at Indiana University School of Medicine

  • Indiana Rural Health Association

  • Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium

  • Indiana State Department of Health

  • Indiana University School of Nursing

  • Indiana University School of Social Work

  • Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital

  • IU Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge

  • IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design Art Therapy Graduate Program

  • IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Museum Studies Program

  • IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology, Music Therapy Program

  • Indy Pulse

  • Ivy Tech Community College

  • Laura Holzman and Meredith Brickell, artists

  • Marion County Board of Health, Dr. Virginia Caine

  • Meridian Health

  • Montgomery County Superior Court 1, Judge Heather Barajas

  • Overdose Lifeline, Inc.

  • Pulse Point

  • Philip Campbell, artist

  • Side Effects Public Media/WFYI

  • University of Indianapolis, College of Applied Behavioral Sciences


  • Young Actors Theatre