INDIANAPOLIS - The Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention met in Indianapolis Tuesday and discussed the connection between children’s mental health and parents’ substance abuse, as well as other topics.
The 23-member task force was created almost a year ago and is charged with identifying ways to prevent, enforce and treat the state’s drug epidemic, largely driven by opioids. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jeromone Adams says the collaborative effort can make an impact.
"Most importantly we’re getting people in the room who aren’t usually spending time together, you’ve got prosecutors, defense attorneys, doctors, judges," Adams says.
Director of Indiana Department of Child Services Judge, Mary Bonaventura gave a presentation on the link between children’s mental health and parents’ substance abuse problems. She says there’s been a rise in cases of children seeking services and providing the right service is essential.
"We have to be able to take care of our children without putting labels on them, whether it’s a delinquency or a CHINS (child in need of services) case and if we can provide them care, treatment and rehabilitation outside the court system we should try to do that," explains Bonaventura.
The task force also discussed emergency management initiatives and the rise in pharmacy robberies. Indiana now has more pharmacy robberies than any state in the country.
In 2014 in Indiana, 1,172 people died of a drug overdose.