Indiana lands federal grants to combat opioid epidemic • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
State of Indiana

Indiana lands federal grants to combat opioid epidemic

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State of IndianaINDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is getting some federal support to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

State officials announced Sept. 21 that Indiana was awarded a two-year grant of $18.1 million per year to better understand the problem and determine the best ways to address it. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“These funds are crucial as we continue bolstering our evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery services, expand access to recovery housing and medication-assisted treatment, and work to reduce the stigma around substance use disorder,” said Jennifer Walthall, administration secretary of Indiana Family and Social Services. “We are grateful for the support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing Indiana as we continue to attack the drug crisis. These resources will enable us to help more Hoosiers avoid and recover from substance use disorder.”

In a related announcement, the Indiana State Department of Health said it was awarded a nearly $3.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advance the understanding of the opioid epidemic and to scale up prevention and response activities as part of the CDC’s Public Health Crisis Response.

ISDH will use the one-year grant for a variety of activities to improve surveillance and data collection, increase awareness of the opioid epidemic, analyze drugs involved in overdoses and support local health departments engaged in harm reduction efforts.

“The opioid epidemic is an all-hands-on-deck effort, and these funds will enable us to better understand its impact on Hoosiers and give communities the information and tools they need to combat this public health crisis,” said Kris Box, state health commissioner.

Research recently released Indiana University shows opioid overdose deaths in the state have risen by more than 500 percent the past 15 years and misuse of these drugs has cost Indiana billions in economic damage. More than 12,300 state residents are estimated to have died from 2003 to 2017 due to opioid overdoses — nearly the same number of people who live in Pike County in southern Indiana.

IU research shows that misuse of opioids in Indiana cost $4.3 billion last year and will exceed $4 billion this year — or about $11 million each day.


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