drug abuse

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The Indiana attorney general is putting a “surge” of heroin and opioid antidote into the field in order to combat a rising number of overdose deaths. The A-G announced $127 thousand in grants to three organizations Thursday to buy more Naloxone kits and train first responders on how to use them.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller calls this a “triage” phase of reducing opioid addiction. The first part, he says, is cracking down on the oversupply of strong painkillers.

Pence Announces New State Mental Health Hospital

Dec 16, 2015
courtesy photo

Governor Mike Pence announced Wednesday plans for a new $120 million mental health hospital on the east side of Indianapolis. 

The state is partnering with Community Health Network to develop a neuro-diagnostic institute, which will have 159 beds and the capacity to treat 1,500 patients per year.

Pence emphasizes that along with confronting mental illness, the facility was created to fight the state’s ongoing drug addiction crisis.

Pence also notes that of the 30 thousand people incarcerated in Indiana, nearly half have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkalo/

Indiana prosecutors say they need help combatting the state’s drug crisis. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Association is asking the legislature to increase penalties for drug dealers by creating a new crime: aggravated drug dealing. 

mattza / https://www.flickr.com/photos/27762949@N00/33602814

One in five Hoosier employers reports injuries or near misses in the workplace due to prescription drug issues and nearly a quarter say they’ve seen employees borrow or sell prescription drugs. That’s according to a National Safety Council survey of more than 200 Indiana HR and safety professionals.

The National Safety Council says 80-percent of Indiana employers say they’ve experienced prescription drug abuse issues at their companies.  Yet less than 30-percent offer training around workplace drug use. 

Indiana Department of Child Services / http://www.in.gov/dcs/files/DCSLog150.jpg

Indiana’s supply of foster parents is dwindling.

The state says more foster parents are needed because caseworkers are having to remove children from homes at an increasing rate because of parents' drug use.

Foster parent Brice Langebartels is a firefighter and has seen the drug use firsthand.

“I mean I’ve seen people unconscious on the ground with kids walking around the house, so it’s really sad,” Langebartels says. “It’s sometimes hard to be on those scenes.”

Barbara Harrington / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/author/bjharrin/

More than two weeks after the first meeting of  Governor Mike Pence’s drug abuse task force, the governor is ordering state agencies to begin implementing some of the group’s initial recommendations.  

One of the drug task force’s initial recommendations urged the state to seek broader Medicaid coverage for drug treatment.  Governor Mike Pence is now directing the Family and Social Services Administration to determine the feasibility of that recommendation. 

Indiana Drug Law Not Sure How To Label 'Gravel'

Aug 18, 2015
Chris Wieland / https://www.flickr.com/photos/telekon/6936276638/

Police and prosecutors are keeping a wary eye on Indiana's southern border for the latest variation on synthetic drugs.

Alpha-PVP, more commonly known as Flakka or gravel, has made its biggest impact in Florida, where it's been blamed for 29 deaths in the Fort Lauderdale area. It's been spotted in at least 10 other states, including Illinois and Ohio. There was also widespread use in rural Kentucky, about 100 miles from Lawrenceburg.

Kreg Steppe / https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/535493117

The number of new HIV infections in southeastern Indiana now sits at 153.

While the number of cases continues to rise, incidence of infection has slowed down, and officials hope to see it plateau soon.

A local community outreach center in Scott County has become a one-stop shop for testing, HIV treatment coordination and, insurance enrollment. Since the outbreak has been linked to injection drug use, referrals for addiction treatment are also available.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Legislative leaders say they‘re open to expanding an emergency needle-exchange program in Scott County to other parts of the state, as long as it goes beyond needles.

Senate President David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says legislators are working to expand a House-passed needle-exchange bill to incorporate provisions for HIV testing, drug treatment and enforcement. Long says it’d be a step toward combating drug runners who use Indiana as a storefront for their products.

hitthatswitch / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ringai/

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is urging the legislature to pass a bill that would allow permanent needle exchanges in some Indiana counties.

Zoeller heads the state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, and he cited concerns over the ongoing HIV crisis in Scott County. So far, more than 130 people have tested positive for HIV since just December. A majority of the cases have been linked to injection drug use.

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