opioid abuse

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Four Indiana health centers will receive more than $1.5 million in federal funding to address heroin and opioid abuse.

The funds are part of a $95 million initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services distributing funds to federally-recognized clinics called health centers.

Julia Wernz is the Director of Behavioral Health at Valley Professionals Community Health Center near Terre Haute, which is getting $406 thousand.

FDA To Add More Warnings To Opioid Medications

Mar 23, 2016
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The FDA Tuesday announced required safety labeling changes for immediate release opioid pain medications, to warn both prescribers and patients of the risks of abuse, addiction and overdose.

Immediate release opioids are designed to be taken every four to six hours, as opposed to long-acting products which are taken once or twice a day.

Research shows opioid addiction usually begins with prescription abuse. Earlier this week, Dr. Michael Cozzi of Fort Wayne was arrested for over-prescribing controlled substances.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly introduced an amendment to federal legislation Wednesday that addresses the national opioid and heroin use epidemic.

The legislation would give money to state and local response programs.

Donnelly’s proposed amendment is part of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA.  The legislation would fund state and local programs that address prescription practices, improve treatment and expand access to opioid abuse prevention and education methods.  

Courtesy Attorney General's Office

A proposed $1.1 billion plan includes $920 million for ‘cooperative agreements with states,’ which could include programs in Indiana. Zoeller says he’d like to have Indiana first in line for that funding.

“The numbers of people we’re talking about are really beyond our capacity to address,” Zoeller says. “So we really are going to need federal help. “

The proposal is part of President Obama’s overall budget, which must be approved by Congress.

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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.

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