Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse met Friday in Indianapolis discussing how the state has addressed the opioid and addiction crisis. The group highlighted progress, as well as areas of need.
In recent years, Indiana has received more than $42 million in federal funds to address the opioid epidemic. The state has put that toward increased recovery options, prevention efforts and awareness campaigns.
The state has also opened up treatment through Medicaid and last year more than 4,2000 Hoosiers received services.
But the state still struggles with provider shortages says Ascend CEO Jason Kloth.
"One of the key issues is the quality of education, or type of education being received in higher ed today focused on substance use disorder," says Kloth.
Indiana will also soon open its first new hospital in decades. Indiana FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction director Kevin Moore says it’s called the Neuro Diagnostic Institute.
"There will be an adolescent substance use disorder unit, as well as an adult substance use disorder unit," says Moore.
Aaron Negangard with the attorney general’s office says the progress is promising, but new trends the state is seeing in drug usage need to be on the agenda.
"This commission, this body, should be addressing a plan," says Negangard. "What are we going to do about meth and cocaine rising?"
The commission meets quarterly to update state efforts.