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Governor To Drug Task Force: Let's Get To Work

Barbara Harrington

More than two weeks after the first meeting of  Governor Mike Pence’s drug abuse task force, the governor is ordering state agencies to begin implementing some of the group’s initial recommendations.  

One of the drug task force’s initial recommendations urged the state to seek broader Medicaid coverage for drug treatment.  Governor Mike Pence is now directing the Family and Social Services Administration to determine the feasibility of that recommendation. 

He also wants state agencies to increase awareness of new legislation allowing people to obtain Naloxone, an overdose intervention drug.  As State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams and DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura discussed at the task force meeting, the law hasn’t been utilized enough:

“Every 25 minutes someone’s dying from an overdose – we know that," says Adams. "And we now have a law to help us prevent some of those overdoses.  But a lack of knowledge about that law is causing people to continue to die.” 

“-- Or the pharmacies not carrying the drug, even if you have knowledge,” adds Bonaventura.

The last recommendation Pence is implementing directs the Department of Workforce Development to identify best practices in youth assistance programs in the hopes they can be spread statewide.  

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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