Seventeen Marion County organizations are getting part of $800,000 from the Opioid Settlement County Organizations for treatment, prevention, recovery, harm reduction, and other efforts to reduce barriers to treatment access.
The funds are part of hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for Indiana to help communities combat and recover from record deaths and addiction related to opioids.
“Drug overdoses – often as a result of opioids – have been the number-one killer in Indianapolis for three years in a row,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a press release.
In 2022, Marion County reported over 810 drug overdose deaths, the highest number of fatal overdoses recorded in history.
“By dramatically increasing access to the services that can save and repair lives, we can climb out of this man-made epidemic while also shoring up our resources for mental health and substance use disorder in the future,” Hogsett added.
Step Up Incorporated, one of the recipients of the grant, is getting money to set up a syringe exchange program for queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities of color.
“And that will allow us to be able to buy our supplies, which of course, it's syringes, but then also other things as well too, which would be even basic things like chapstick,” said CEO Michael Drain.
He added that having harm reduction services at his organization helps to begin the process of educating those with a substance use disorder and also being able to talk to them about what care and treatment can look like for them.
The community grant comes from the national opioid settlement funds. This round of funds runs until August 31 of next year.
The funds will be distributed by the Office of Public Health & Safety and the Marion County Coroner's Office.
Grant recipients are:
- Dove Recovery House for Women
- Overdose Lifeline, Inc.
- Step-Up, Inc.
- The Hope Academy, Inc.
- Metropolitan School District – Decatur Township: Decatur Township Drug-Free Coalition
- The Bachelors of Arts
- Aspire Indiana
- Children’s Bureau, Inc. Firefly Children & Family Alliance
- A Better Way Outreach, Inc.
- Education Destination, Inc.
- We Bloom, Inc.
- Damien Center, Inc.
- Community Health Network Foundation, Inc.
- InTouch Outreach Resource Center (ITOR)
- Public Advocates for Community Re-Entry (PACE)
- Gennesaret Free Clinics
- The Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
You can reach health reporter Alex Li at firstname.lastname@example.org.