Beating an addiction is not a solitary task. It takes a team of people to support and encourage triumph over addiction.
That's why the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) Agency is partnering their Quitline with the Clay County Health Department to help local residents to stop smoking.
Kandace Brown, Clay County's ITPC Coordinator, said the Quitline helps those in the immediate moments of deciding to quit.
When someone calls the Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, they receive counseling on quitting tobacco use and acquire a two-week supply of nicotine replacement patches or gum.
According to Brown, the Quitline assists in the "crisis moment," and if steps are not taken right away, the desire to quit may go away.
"We're trying to reach people who won't take steps to go to the doctor for help," Brown said.
Because of the rising cost of health care, "people would not go into the doctor for this issue alone. It's just too expensive," she added.
After the initial counseling, the Quitline then refers callers to the county's health department and their cessation program.
That's where Linda Messmer takes over. Messmer leads a 10-week program offering group support and classes.
Everyone who calls to join a cessation class is treated the same, no matter where they were referred from.
Participants need a prescription and either live in Clay County or have a physician in the county. New classes begin nearly every 12 weeks, including the next group in late May.
The health department use to run simultaneous one-on-one counseling for those wanting to quit tobacco use, but it was discovered that support from others struggling with addiction was missing.
Brown and the health department have met recently to discuss the best way to partner the Quitline with Messmer's program.
Because the campaign for the Quitline here is just beginning, Brown said the weekly report she gets says only two to five people call the hotline each week from Clay County.
In future months, extra advertising and awareness programs will try to bring the support and encouragement people need to stop their addictions to tobacco.