Indiana is exploring expansion of its addiction hotline and developing a more Indiana-centric program that will help the state in its battle against drug abuse. The governor’s drug abuse task force Friday discussed progress in exploring such a move.
Indiana’s addiction hotline, which serves Hoosiers looking for help with substance abuse, problem gambling and consumer services, is run by a national firm that serves multiple states.
State officials are exploring the establishment of an Indiana-specific hotline. Options include contracting with a private vendor or using state employees to staff the 24-7 service.
Department of Child Services Deputy Chief of Staff Luke Bosso says an Indiana-only hotline could provide the state with valuable data that it can’t necessarily access when using a multi-state hotline.
“We’d also be able to drill down on the specific types of substance abuse,” Bosso says. “If a county in southern Indiana was fighting one drug but a county in the northern part of the state was fighting a different one, it would allow us to see all the numbers associated with that.”
Bosso says the state also wants to expand the hotline beyond just a phone number – it’s hoping to develop texting and social media capabilities.
The state’s contract with the national hotline vendor is $92,000 a year. Officials say they don’t know yet what the cost of an Indiana-specific hotline would be. The current contract with the national vendor runs through the end of 2016.