December 21, 2023

Overdose deaths fell 5% in 2022, new state report shows

State officials tout expanded access to harm reduction and treatment resources as a reason behind a decrease in overdose deaths in 2022. - Jill Sheridan/WFYI News

State officials tout expanded access to harm reduction and treatment resources as a reason behind a decrease in overdose deaths in 2022.

Jill Sheridan/WFYI News

Overdose deaths fell 5% in 2022, the first time since 2018, according to the 2023 Next Level Recovery Progress Report. 

The annual report compiles data across state agencies that work to combat substance use. 

One reason for the downward trend is the state’s approach to combating substance use, said Indiana Drug Czar Doug Huntsinger.

“We're looking at this in a holistic, in a 360 view lens as to how do we help make someone successful in their recovery,” Huntsinger said. 

Huntsinger points to an increase in naloxone distribution, the expansion of residential treatment beds and to the state's recovery hubs that can help people find housing or employment.

“Now we've moved on to those intervention points,” Huntsinger said. “So, when somebody ends up in [an] emergency room or ends up in a jail, and has a substance use disorder, we have peers there, we have pathways to help move people into treatment.”

Huntsinger also said this is the first year Indiana has been able to utilize funds from the opioid settlements for community programs. 

The state is set to receive about $918 million from multiple settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the opioid epidemic.

People can call 2-1-1 to be connected to local treatment and resources. They can also access a treatment locator at TreatmentAtlas.org

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