Opioid Epidemic

Public Health Committee Focuses On Access To Treatment

Sep 27, 2018

Indiana lawmakers met to talk about ways they are addressing the opioid epidemic. Access to treatment is improving but continues to be an issue. 

There’s a new Indiana University study that details the cost of the opioid epidemic in Indiana. The report estimates the misuse of opioids has resulted in more than $43 billion in losses over the past 15 years. 

The study outlines an annual average of $3 billion in losses from indirect cost associated with loss of gross state product loss and underemployment due to addiction.  

The second round of federal funding to address the opioid epidemic in Indiana has been announced. The state will receive $10.9 million from the 21st Century Cures Act.

Last year, Indiana received the same amount of funding from the law and put it towards efforts including expansion of residential treatment centers, an anti-stigma campaigns and enhancement of the state’s prescription monitoring program. 

These new grants will be administrated through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Opioid Treatment Access Expanding In Indiana

Feb 9, 2018

Hoosiers in need of addiction treatment have a couple new resources now. The Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA, announced this week, efforts to increase access to treatment in the state with the help of federal funds.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said it’s past time for the U.S. to deal with the opioid epidemic.

Christie, who chairs the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, spoke Monday at the Indiana attorney general’s Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium in Indianapolis.

On an afternoon in August at the Indiana State Library, a stately limestone building usually home to genealogy conventions or history lectures, the Indiana chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, laid out a very distinctive welcome mat emblazoned with a familiar leafy plant.

Donnelly Co-sponsors Bipartisan Bills Targeting Opioid Crisis

Oct 13, 2017

After introducing bipartisan legislation focused on the opioid epidemic, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) participated in a walkthrough of The Willow Center in Brownsburg, and spoke to addiction recovery advocates about battling the epidemic.

“To everyone here, I want to tell you how grateful I am for your hard work,” Donnelly says. “It ties in with legislation I have, and it’s called Strengthening Addiction Treatment Workforce Act.”

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA recently launched a campaign to reduce stigma surrounding opioid addiction, focusing on three ideas.

The first thing to understand, says FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall, is that addiction is a neurological disorder, a disease.

“That doesn’t make it good or bad, it just makes it what it is, a disease process,” says Walthall. “The second correlate to that is there is treatment.”

The third part of the message is that recovery is possible.

New Website Compiles Opioid Epidemic Resources

Oct 3, 2017

The state has launched a new website to fight the opioid epidemic. The Next Level Recovery Indiana site has state data, facts, current initiatives, and ways for people to get involved in combating the opioid epidemic.

Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, Jim McClelland, says up until now it’s been hard for Hoosiers to find the information they need.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush will co-chair a national task force to examine how the country’s opioid epidemic impacts the justice system.

Rush has been outspoken about the increase of Hoosier children into the court system because of opioids. Rush says much attention has been placed on the health aspect of the crisis – but she argues there needs to be more focus on how courts can deal with the influx of cases.

Shutterstock - The Fix website

What do you get when you bring together: 1) a council of local organizations (Lake County Substance Abuse Council) that are concerned about the recent dramatic increase in opioid use and deaths, and  2) some local students concerned about the destruction and devastation they’ve witnessed caused by this epidemic in the lives of their friends and loved ones?   You get a public service announcement to be unveiled this weekend at the AMC Theatres in Merrillville.  The video will also end up on YouTube.

IPB file photo - Annie Ropeik

Today:  Indiana Public Broadcastng's Annie Ropeik reports on a new state credit program called "Moving Forward," that will be able to help the city of East Chicago and other local agencies assist residents who've been affected by the lead contamination -- by giving them a chance to live in contamination-free housing.

We talk with childhood cancer survivor Ryan Darby and Zafar Brooks, the executive director of the non-profit Hynundai Hope on Wheel Foundation, which is giving two grants to Chicago-area childrens' hospitals.  This is national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

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Jake Harper

More people who are addicted to opioids are coming into the Marion County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. The influx has the sheriff calling on Indiana lawmakers to spend more to combat addiction.   

AP

Today: "South Bend Tribune" political writer and columnist Jack Colwell joins us to talk about his latest column, also found on "Howey Politics Indiana," about what one author noted -- from an actual pre-campaign event in 2011 --  how seriously President Donald Trump takes everything, even jokes aimed in his direction.

Indiana will add five new opioid treatment programs (OTP) across the state to help combat the ongoing drug abuse epidemic and the initiative will also includes coverage of the treatment drug methadone.

The announcement came Wednesday at the Valle Vista treatment center in Greenwood. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Jennifer Walthall says the center is being added to the state’s OTP efforts and will offer methadone.

Newly Formed Safety Coalition Highlights Drug Abuse Program

Jun 7, 2017

A group of current and former inmates from Dearborn County Jail talked about their experiences in the Jail Chemical Addictions Program. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says the state’s treatment options for drug addiction are inadequate. Now he’s formed a coalition of government, healthcare and law enforcement leaders to make the case for reform.

A group of current and former inmates from Dearborn County Jail spoke at the Public Safety Coalition’s first meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Weather.com

Today:   Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project talks about the dangers of swimming or surfing (or even boating) in Lake Michigan and why it's so important to know what to do if you get into trouble in the water. 

The Chicago-based organization conducts informational and training sessions every year and -- Benjamin says -- encourages schools to include water safety drills, just as they plan for and conduct fire or earthquake drills.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

The latest concern that law enforcement, addiction treatment centers and the public face in the battle against opioids is called "gray death."  It's a deadly concoction of gravel-like heroin that was first reported in Southern states and is spreading across the country.   The drug is so powerful that it can be absorbed into the body by merely touching it. 

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

Today:   Valerie Thorn, the executive director of the RecoveryWorks treatment facility in Merrillville, talks about the latest concerns that law enforcement, addiction treatment centers and the public face in the battle against opioids -- "gray death."  It's a deadly concoction of gravel-like heroin that was first reported in Southern states and is spreading across the country.

ISDH Launches County Profiles To Fight Opioid Epidemic

May 15, 2017

A new tool from the Indiana State Department of Health aims to help counties determine how best to respond to the opioid epidemic. Those profiles, released Monday, offer a view of how the opioid epidemic is impacting Indiana communities, county by county.

ISDH deputy commissioner Pam Pontones says the information is not meant to rank counties or serve as a comparison but rather to give counties a snapshot of their risks and trends.