NewsHealth / July 24, 2018

Statewide Partnership Aims To Reduce Opioid Addiction

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Statewide Partnership Aims To Reduce Opioid Addiction

Indiana Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) announces RALI Indiana coalition.

Photo courtesy of Bose Public Affairs

A new statewide coalition of business and health leaders will work to align resources and education to drive down opioid addiction across the state.     

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative, RALI Indiana, is a diverse group. It includes nurses, law enforcement, anti-drug coalitions and businesses.

Indiana Drug Czar Jim McClelland gives Gov. Eric Holcomb credit for an increase in these types of alliances.   

"He has frequently called for all hands on deck and I think that’s what we’re seeing here today," says McClelland. 

The initiative announced its first grant of $25,000 to an Indy Chamber affiliate, the Wellness Council of Indiana.  Executive director Jennifer Pferrer says employers need to look more closely at health data.

"Do you know what’s driving your health care costs? Do you know the number of prescriptions that are being made to your employees and their spouses and dependents?" Pferrer says. 

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says the business community needs to know more about the opioid epidemic.  

"The stigma is still strong and for the people that hold the purse strings it’s difficult for them to analyze that this is a health care crisis," says Merritt. 

Other grants will be available to organizations throughout the state. The initiative will also offer safe drug disposal kits.

Other states are launching similar programs.  

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