opioid epidemic

Lindsey Wright / IPB News

It’s been about six months since the Trump administration declared a nation-wide public health emergency due to the opioid crisis, but many are wondering what’s changed.

Trump says federal leaders will roll out a policy plan in the next few weeks, and local advocates hope to see less talk, and more action. ​

‘Keep doing the good work’

Eric Norris / flickr.com/photos/sfxeric/3964596491

West Lafayette is gearing up to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors – joining a long list of U.S. cities going after painkiller producers in the courtroom.

More than a dozen manufacturers are to be named in the lawsuit, including Johnson & Johnson, Allergan and Purdue Pharma. They’re some of the companies responsible for such drugs as Norco and Oxycontin. The city will allege those companies, in its words, “deceptively marketed” opioids.

Opiate distributors will also be named in the lawsuit, alleging those parties failed to report and stop high-quantity orders.

Tex Texin / flickr.com/photos/textexin/3612094774

In March, the Frankfort Police Department will begin to treat every drug overdose as a crime scene in an effort to find and convict drug dealers.

According to new overdose guidelines, officers will first respond to the overdose in a medical sense. And if an opioid was involved, they’ll administer the overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

Then, officers will collect evidence and statements from the scene to help build criminal cases against drug dealers.

Deputy Chief Scott Shoemaker says he’s confident most victims won’t cooperate, so police will dig deeper.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County is one of four in the state selected to start a data-collecting pilot program on drug overdose deaths.

The Tippecanoe County Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team would report to the state health department who is dying from drug overdoses, circumstances surrounding each death and any commonalities between cases.

Deputy Prosecutor Jason Biss says the team’s job is to examine each overdose beyond the autopsy.

Opioid Treatment Access Expanding In Indiana

Feb 9, 2018

Hoosiers in need of addiction treatment have a couple new resources now. The Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA, announced this week, efforts to increase access to treatment in the state with the help of federal funds.

The first round of projects to tackle Indiana’s opioid epidemic through Indiana University’s Grand Challenge were announced this week. One effort seeks to create a more comprehensive data picture.

Viral Maps Show Exactly How An HIV Outbreak Spread

Jan 24, 2018

Epidemiologists traditionally have depended on what people say to discover how disease spreads. But in investigating Indiana's recent HIV outbreak, the CDC tracked what the virus says — by looking at its DNA.

While Indiana’s health ranking ticked up on a recent annual report, health leaders say there’s more work to be done. A new data tool that highlights specific issues may provide some insight into focus areas. The tool from the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana breaks down top health priorities by county.

Opioids Impact Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate

Nov 15, 2017

The Indiana Department of Health marked five years of its Labor of Love summit, an annual event aimed at reducing the state’s infant mortality rate. The rate of infants dying before their first birthday has risen steadily since the campaign began, mainly because of substance use disorders.

When the initiative kicked off in 2012, 556 babies lost their life – last year that number was 623. Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box says any progress the state has made has been overshadowed.

The Indiana Commission On Improving the Status of Children is working to tackle one part of the shortage of mental health providers.

Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy executive director Cathleen Graham says the shortage of professionals comes from a number of factors: Indiana has almost doubled the number of children in the welfare system and the opioid epidemic contributed to longer stays in the system while parents and guardians get sober.