NewsPublic Affairs / March 8, 2016

Bill to Combat Opioid Dependence in Indiana Passes Senate

INDIANAPOLIS -- A bill creating new addiction treatment options in an effort to combat Indiana's opioid epidemic has been approved by the legislature.

Right now, if someone seeking addiction treatment goes to a methadone clinic, their only option for medication assisted treatment is methadone.  But under SB 297, which is currently making its way to Gov. Mike Pence, patients who show up to a treatment center will get assessed and hopefully put on the best treatment plan for them. That could mean methadone, or it could mean a different medication, such as Suboxone or Vivitrol—other drugs that can help fight addiction. 

Steve McCaffrey, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana, says the guidelines under the bill could improve the state’s ability to combat its opioid epidemic. 

“We know that when you do disjointed treatment like we’ve done historically, the success rate of about 10 to 20 percent," he says. "We know that when you do it in a comprehensive way, it jumps up to over 60 percent. “

Indiana’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction will have until the end of the year to create new guidelines for addiction treatment providers.

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