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home : news : local news August 18, 2017

Plan to end epidemic calls for multi-faceted approach
Jim McClellandexecutive director of Drug Treatment, Prevention and Enforcement
Jim McClelland

executive director of Drug Treatment, Prevention and Enforcement
Strategies to decrease opiate dependency in Indiana include:

• Coordinating, aligning, and focusing the resources of Indiana state government and leverage the resources of other public sector entities and other sectors to respond to the current opioid crisis and enhance the potential for timely responses to future crises resulting from substance abuse and addictions.

• Developing and implementing complementary public health and public safety strategies that recognize substance use disorder as a chronic disease and incorporate prevention, treatment, and recovery systems accordingly

• Creating systems for government, persons with SUD and their families, and for providers of services that are data-driven, resilient, agile, and adaptable - evolving as learning increases and as the external environment changes.

• Incorporating innovation and continuous improvement to make optimal use of all resources to improve outcomes and impact.

• Giving preference to evidence-based programs and practices, while leaving room for promising innovative approaches.

• Designing with the help of health care professionals, alternate pain management methods

• Implementing a multi-year public awareness program.

By Alex Pollock

Gov. Eric Holcomb's strategy for ending Indiana's drug epidemic is a multi-faceted approach focused on supporting and improving prevention, treatment, enforcement, and community aid.

Indiana's Commission to Combat Drug Abuse had a meeting detailing Holcomb's plan to deal with Indiana's opiate crisis Thursday.

"This framework and action plan reflect months of partnership with diverse stakeholders and research on Indiana's drug crisis," Jim McClelland, executive director of Drug Treatment, Prevention and Enforcement said. "While much work remains, this plan is a critical first step in meeting governor Holcomb's charge to attack our drug epidemic and its devastating effects on Hoosier lives."

McClelland was joined at the meeting by 17 members of the Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.

Reports were given by stakeholders focusing on the funding and distribution of Naloxone, or Narcan, a life-saving opiate reversal drug, and community advocate Justin Phillips was honored for her work combating the epidemic that killed her son Aaron.

Health department officials are working towards plans that would create a flat rate for Naloxone purchases across the state and would allow health providers to be reimbursed for Naloxone costs.

Also discussed was what Indiana is planning on using its federal CURES grant money for.

"Half a million will be going toward anti-stigma efforts," said Kevin Moore, director of mental health and addiction for the Indiana family and social services administration. "It's called the humanizing campaign. We want to put a face to this so the stigma goes down state wide. We're not talking about addicts, we're talking about people, our neighbors."

Progress will be measured by looking at the number of individuals admitted to hospitals for overdoses, the amount of opiate prescriptions written, deaths from overdoses, babies born with opiate dependence, and percentage of people with substance disorders in recovery.

New data collecting services will be created as well to help monitor progress. The regulations and reimbursement plans for Naloxone are set to be in effect by early summer, and the new educational programs are set to be up and running by December 2017.

The full strategic approach and action plan for combating the opiate epidemic can be found at www.in.gov.

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