Opioid

Rush Addresses Opioid Epidemic On Legal Panel

Apr 10, 2018
Chief Justice Loretta Rush on a 2016 panel. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush participated in a panel discussion about the legal issues involved in the opioid epidemic in Washington D.C. this week.  

New Program Provides Opioid Education For Doctors

Apr 3, 2018
(U.S. Marine Corps)
Lauren Chapman

The Indiana State Medical Association and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation announced the first statewide program to teach physicians best practices for prescribing opioids.  

State law now requires prescribers to receive opioid prescription training every two years.  The Indiana State Medical Association will develop an app to help them do this.

Opioid Overdoses May Be Seriously Undercounted

Mar 21, 2018
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Jake Harper / Side Effects

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 

Bill Adds Opioid Treatment Options

Mar 15, 2018
Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer presents HEA 1017 to the House. (Photo courtesy of Kirchhofer's office)
Jill Sheridan

Indiana lawmakers passed a bill to expand the number of opioid treatment centers in the state.  It adds nine centers that will be located at existing hospitals. Each will need approval from the state.  

Rep. Cindy Kirchhoffer (R-Beech Grove) authored the legislation to improve access to addiction treatment – especially for people in rural areas. 

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.

Opioid Treatment Expansion Bill Passes House

Jan 31, 2018

A bill to expand opioid treatment center options in Indiana passed the House this week, which would add nine treatment programs in the state.

Indiana currently has 18 opioid treatment center options and this bill would increase that number to 27. House Bill 1007 author Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) says the centers would be approved to operate at local hospitals that apply.

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David Kidd / Flickr

While drug-related deaths continue to rise throughout Indiana, one county saw a decrease in drug fatalities in 2017.

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FILE

Allen County will be joining two Indiana counties and one city in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies and distributors.

Education Advocates Stress Importance Of Informed Care

Dec 14, 2017

Indiana lawmakers and state officials say addressing the state’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis is a top priority for 2018, and education advocates say those goals fit in with something teachers need to learn more about: trauma-informed care.

Advocates say stressed out students don’t absorb information well, and a parent’s drug problem is just one type of challenge that complicates a child’s ability to learn. That’s why the state’s largest teachers union plans to advocate for more teacher training on what’s called trauma-informed instruction.

Lilly Migraine Drug One Step Closer To Market

Dec 11, 2017

A new pain medication, part of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly’s non-opioid pain management platform, took another step forward.

The drug is called galcanezumab. It’s one of three being crafted by Eli Lilly to treat chronic and serious pain. The medicine has shown promising results in a series of trials says Dr. Robert Conley, Lilly global development leader for migraine.

“Around 60 percent of our patients lost more than half of their headache days and some patients even got to 100 percent loss of headache,” says Conley

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Gretchen Frazee / WTIU News

At the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Conference in Indianapolis,  U.S. Surgeon General and former Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adam called for racial equity in addressing the opioid epidemic.

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.

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LAbaseballFan / Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is investigating the pharmaceutical company Alkermes for its marketing and lobbying efforts used to “artificially boost sales” of its addiction drug, Vivitrol.

A report focused on ending the opioid crisis highlights state policies that are making an impact. Indiana has taken many of the steps mentioned and is used, in one case, as a positive example.

The report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse mentions a new Indiana law that allows counties to set up syringe exchange programs without state approval.

On an afternoon in August at the Indiana State Library, a stately limestone building usually home to genealogy conventions or history lectures, the Indiana chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, laid out a very distinctive welcome mat emblazoned with a familiar leafy plant.

Donnelly Co-sponsors Bipartisan Bills Targeting Opioid Crisis

Oct 13, 2017

After introducing bipartisan legislation focused on the opioid epidemic, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) participated in a walkthrough of The Willow Center in Brownsburg, and spoke to addiction recovery advocates about battling the epidemic.

“To everyone here, I want to tell you how grateful I am for your hard work,” Donnelly says. “It ties in with legislation I have, and it’s called Strengthening Addiction Treatment Workforce Act.”

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA recently launched a campaign to reduce stigma surrounding opioid addiction, focusing on three ideas.

The first thing to understand, says FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall, is that addiction is a neurological disorder, a disease.

“That doesn’t make it good or bad, it just makes it what it is, a disease process,” says Walthall. “The second correlate to that is there is treatment.”

The third part of the message is that recovery is possible.

New Website Compiles Opioid Epidemic Resources

Oct 3, 2017

The state has launched a new website to fight the opioid epidemic. The Next Level Recovery Indiana site has state data, facts, current initiatives, and ways for people to get involved in combating the opioid epidemic.

Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, Jim McClelland, says up until now it’s been hard for Hoosiers to find the information they need.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush will co-chair a national task force to examine how the country’s opioid epidemic impacts the justice system.

Rush has been outspoken about the increase of Hoosier children into the court system because of opioids. Rush says much attention has been placed on the health aspect of the crisis – but she argues there needs to be more focus on how courts can deal with the influx of cases.

Eli Lilly is partnering with Pfizer to help develop a new drug that could be the first of a new class of non-opioid pain medications.

There hasn’t been a new pain medication discovery in about 50 years. The last new non-opioid pain medication to hit the market was ibuprofen in the late 1960s.

That’s a problem, because Indiana University Health’s Daniel Rusyniak says when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain we need more options.

ISDH Launches County Profiles To Fight Opioid Epidemic

May 15, 2017

A new tool from the Indiana State Department of Health aims to help counties determine how best to respond to the opioid epidemic. Those profiles, released Monday, offer a view of how the opioid epidemic is impacting Indiana communities, county by county.

ISDH deputy commissioner Pam Pontones says the information is not meant to rank counties or serve as a comparison but rather to give counties a snapshot of their risks and trends.

Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Radio

LOWELL - Governor Eric Holcomb is looking toward what we, collectively as a state, want Indiana to be in five to 20 years.  He spoke of the accomplishments of the 2017 Indiana Legislative session with Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson and what he thinks will help get the state to where it needs to be.  

The Governor said the state needs to address the drug epidemic that's sweeping across the entire country.  

Holcomb is also looking toward protecting some important recognition that Indiana had recently received the top ranking for state government effectiveness.

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Eugene Peretz/Flickr

A new study from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis has found that restricting opioid prescriptions may have an unintended side effect: more overdose deaths involving heroin and fentanyl. The study also shows that Indiana’s reports don’t reflect the actual number of overdose deaths in which opioid drugs are present.