NewsPublic Affairs / May 18, 2017

Drug Task Force Lays Out Strategic Plan To Combat Opioid Epidemic

Lindsey Wright
Drug Task Force Lays Out Strategic Plan To Combat Opioid Epidemic

Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse discussed a strategic plan to combat the state's opioid crisis.

Lindsey Wright/WFIU

Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse Thursday laid out a strategic plan to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Saving lives and expanding access to treatment are two of the highest priorities within the plan.

Jim McClelland, the executive director for drug treatment, prevention, and enforcement, says it’s all hands on deck in this fight.

“Substantially reducing the opioid crisis must be a team effort,” McClelland says. “Our efforts need to be aligned and our approaches need to be complimentary.”

Indiana received $10.9 million in funding through the 21st Century Cures Act. Kevin Moore, the director of mental health and addiction says the grants will go toward efforts such as prescription monitoring, anti-stigma campaigns, and peer support initiatives.

“We have to do scopes of work and RFPs and evaluations of those, but we want to get this money out and hitting the streets, and hitting the programs as quickly as possible,” Moore says.

Eighty percent of the funding will go toward treatment and will increase residential treatment beds by 60 to 75 beds a year.

Some questioned whether the legislature is putting enough effort toward addiction efforts. Democratic Sen. Greg Taylor voiced concern about how policy will impact the commission’s plan.

“This plan is very good, however, as legislators we have to put together policy that fits that plan,” Taylor says.

Republican Sen. Jim Merritt praised Gov. Eric Holcomb’s actions and responded by saying policies that have been put together are a good start.



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