Legislation Aims To Increase Addiction Providers

Jun 29, 2017

More than half of Indiana counties don’t have mental health care options available. A new bipartisan proposal in Congress to increase the number of providers specializing in addiction treatment.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says many Hoosiers, just like many in America, are battling addiction to opioids and other dangerous substances. And he says there’s s a need for more professionals on the front lines.

Donnelly and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced legislation to help some addiction treatment facilities offer student loan repayment to their providers. That includes nurses, social workers and therapists.

Donnelly says it’s going to take bipartisan efforts win this battle.

“And while we are making some progress, we still have a lot of work to do,” Donnelly says.

The Strengthening the Addiction Treatment Workforce Act aims to improve access to care and its quality. The addiction workforce shortage is especially apparent in rural parts of Indiana where the opioid epidemic has hit hard.

The legislation is supported by the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helps community-based behavioral health organizations, including 29 in Indiana.