Indiana Connects Hoosiers With Peer Support For Substance Use, Mental Health Disorders

Aug 7, 2020

A syringe service program in Scott County.
Credit (WFIU/WTIU)

Indiana is getting more people with mental health and substance use disorders connected with “peer supports” – trained professionals who have personal experience with those challenges.

Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition director Brandon George said the state isn’t just dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic – it’s also still struggling with an overdose and addiction epidemic. And he said COVID-19 has exacerbated that problem.

“We had hundreds, if not thousands of recovery resources, social supports, meetings, churches – all the places where people with substance use disorder go to get help – no longer accessible,” George said.

READ MORE: Recovery Resources Adapt To COVID-19 Social Distancing, 'Stay-At-Home' Orders

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Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan said the peer support expansion, announced Thursday, will send at least 40 full- and part-time professionals to recovery groups around the state.

“These organizations include treatment providers, criminal justice partners, syringe service programs and others,” Sullivan said.

The expansion is funded by a federal grant.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.