drug abuse

Steve Burns/Indiana Public Broadcasting

The small town of Austin, Indiana, made national headlines for an HIV outbreak tied to injection drug use two years ago.

Now, community in Scott County is making news for a different reason.

For the first time ever, the high school’s Dimensions show choir is heading to a national competition in Chicago later this month.

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On his first day of office, Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order creating an Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.

The new director, Jim McClelland, is a former CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. He takes a firm stance that addiction should be understood to be an illness.

In his new role, he will coordinate drug-related efforts across state agencies such as the state health department and the Family and Social Services Administration.

Drug Abuse Symposium Focuses On Preventing Addiction

Oct 14, 2016
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Day two of a drug abuse symposium in Indianapolis focused on prevention Friday. Officials say a disproportionate amount of time and money is focused on what to do after someone gets addicted rather than preventing someone from becoming an addict.

The philosophy behind drug prevention has changed in the last 20 years, says Indiana Prevention Resource Center educator Jasynda Radanovich.

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Attorney General Greg Zoeller Wednesday announced another round of grant funding to distribute the overdose intervention drug naloxone to first responders around the state. Zoeller says a more sustainable funding source is necessary.

Previous grants for naloxone provided kits of the drug to law enforcement and first responders in about 45 counties.  Zoeller says new funding – $400,000 – will expand that further, with the eventual goal of statewide supply.

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It’s been a year since Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in response to a historic HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana.

The declaration allowed the county to start a needle exchange to limit the spread of the virus through injection drugs.

The exchange was also meant to connect people to addiction treatment.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jake Harper reports, talking to people about treatment is just one of the first steps toward overcoming addiction.

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While Indiana lawmakers are considering different ways to reduce production of methamphetamine, police officers across the state are doing what they can to get the producers of the highly addictive drug off the streets.

To better understand the problem of policing meth, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon takes us on a ride along with an Indiana State Police meth suppression team.

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The Indiana attorney general is putting a “surge” of heroin and opioid antidote into the field in order to combat a rising number of overdose deaths. The A-G announced $127 thousand in grants to three organizations Thursday to buy more Naloxone kits and train first responders on how to use them.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller calls this a “triage” phase of reducing opioid addiction. The first part, he says, is cracking down on the oversupply of strong painkillers.

Pence Announces New State Mental Health Hospital

Dec 16, 2015
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Governor Mike Pence announced Wednesday plans for a new $120 million mental health hospital on the east side of Indianapolis. 

The state is partnering with Community Health Network to develop a neuro-diagnostic institute, which will have 159 beds and the capacity to treat 1,500 patients per year.

Pence emphasizes that along with confronting mental illness, the facility was created to fight the state’s ongoing drug addiction crisis.

Pence also notes that of the 30 thousand people incarcerated in Indiana, nearly half have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.

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Indiana prosecutors say they need help combatting the state’s drug crisis. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Association is asking the legislature to increase penalties for drug dealers by creating a new crime: aggravated drug dealing. 

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One in five Hoosier employers reports injuries or near misses in the workplace due to prescription drug issues and nearly a quarter say they’ve seen employees borrow or sell prescription drugs. That’s according to a National Safety Council survey of more than 200 Indiana HR and safety professionals.

The National Safety Council says 80-percent of Indiana employers say they’ve experienced prescription drug abuse issues at their companies.  Yet less than 30-percent offer training around workplace drug use. 

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