opioid abuse

Executive Order Creates New State Drug Director

Jan 10, 2017
Trey Pennington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/treypennington/

Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order creating a position within his office to oversee all state agencies involved with drug prevention and treatment efforts.

Retired Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana CEO Jim McClelland will serve as the new Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. In that role, he’ll be in charge of overseeing the drug-related efforts of nine Indiana agencies, including the Department of Health, the Professional Licensing Agency and the Family and Social Services Administration.

Steve Burns / WTIU

Tippecanoe County officials may be coalescing around the idea of using a mobile unit to house the county’s recently-approved syringe services program.

whitehouse.gov / https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/12/12/3-letters-explain-why-president-obama-signing-cures-act

State health officials say it’s too soon to tell how Indiana will spend the cash it’s slated to get from a federal bill aimed at fighting opioid abuse.

President Obama recently signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other initiatives, will direct a billion dollars to states for use in opioid treatment programs.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A group created to respond to Indiana's growing drug abuse epidemic will now give way to a permanent commission studying the same topic.

The Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention met for the final time Monday.

The temporary task force was created to study the state’s drug epidemic and recommend actions to the governor. A permanent replacement —the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse—will begin meeting in 2017.

lyd_f / https://www.flickr.com/photos/30317380@N08/

Since 2015, Indiana counties have established syringe-exchange programs with the hopes of curbing the spread of HIV and hepatitis.

The latest county to establish such a service — Allen County — has decided to call the program something different, a move other counties in Indiana are considering as well.

The Indiana bill legalizing needle exchanges refers to the services as syringe exchange programs, and most counties’ terminology has followed suit. But earlier this month, Allen County announced the establishment of a syringe services program.

Steve Burns / WTIU

Both of Indiana’s gubernatorial front-runners say the state’s current system for fighting drug-related disease needs an overhaul.

When it comes to state-funded syringe exchange programs, both lean toward reforming the current system, though one more emphatically than the other.

Even though state-approved syringe exchange programs were made legal last year in an effort to curb the spread of drug-related disease, the state doesn’t offer assistance to those programs. And the law explicitly bans using state money to purchase the needles themselves.

freestocks.org / https://www.flickr.com/photos/freestocks/

Update: Governor Mike Pence, on September 22nd, has directed the PLA to move forward on the following initiative, which was introduced at the Governor's Task Force on Drug Enforement, Treatment and Prevention Tuesday afternoon.

For nearly two decades, Indiana medical professionals have provided information about the drugs they dispense to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database, called INSPECT. But health officials are hoping to soon make it easier for doctors to use.

Governor Tom Wolf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomwolf/

Update: Governor Mike Pence, on September 22nd, has directed the ISDH to move forward on the following initiative, which was introduced at the Governor's Task Force on Drug Enforement, Treatment and Prevention Tuesday afternoon.

Innovative Health Solutions / http://i-h-s.com/contact/bridge-device-contact/

Union County is small— only one Indiana county has fewer people. A block away from the courthouse in Liberty, a small building pulls double duty as the health department and area planning office.

Here, a young woman in pajamas is sitting with her head in her arms.  She’s here to be assessed for a new medical device that might give her almost instant relief from her painful drug withdrawal symptoms.

Cavale Doom / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cavale/

Indiana public health officials are hoping a handful of housing initiatives spearheaded by the USDA will eventually help recovering addicts in rural areas transition to healthier lives. But it may take a while for some solutions to arrive.

The USDA, through its rural housing services, makes thousands of Indiana homes available to low-income residents through guaranteed and direct loans. The agency also owns a number of foreclosed homes.