NewsHealth / March 8, 2016

Heroin Epidemic Impacting Hoosier Kids

Heroin Epidemic Impacting Hoosier Kids

INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks was in Indianapolis Monday to learn more about how the heroin and opioid abuse crisis is impacting Hoosier children and families.  

Indiana is in the midst of an opioid epidemic as a result of prescription abuse and as heroin becomes more accessible and cheaper. U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks met with professionals working to stem the epidemic. She has introduced federal legislation to improve prescriber education, awareness and enforcement in the fight against opioid addiction.

"It is to create a federal task force that puts forth the best practices within the federal agencies involved with prescription and opioids,"  explained Brooks.

About 30 representatives from juvenile courts, child advocacy groups and hospitals attended the meeting at Child Advocates in Indianapolis. Brooks says she heard one message again and again

"Not enough addiction specialists, not enough social workers with addiction specialties, not enough physiologists and physiatrists," Brooks said.

Brooks also visited St. Vincent’s neonatal intensive care unit where newborn babies whose mothers were on heroin are struggling with the consequences of addiction.  According to the CDC people who are dependent on prescription opioids are fourty times more likely to abuse heroin.

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