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A new study shows Indiana is among the most underfunded in the fight against opioids

Claire Fiddian-Green is the president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A new report from the Indianapolis-based Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation says Indiana is receiving less federal funding than it should to help combat the opioid epidemic. The report compares the amount of funding each state has received to its percentage of opioid-related overdose deaths reported nationwide. The Hoosier state ranks near the bottom of the list; the report says Indiana received nearly $160 million but was still underfunded by more than $175 million.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Claire Fiddian-Green said the disparity has a lot to do with a lack of available data.

“There’s been an investment certainly in Indiana and across the country in trying to do a better job of collecting data and have more robust and accurate data systems, but also what it means is that, more recently, we’ve heard some news from the state that preliminary data show that the number of overdose deaths are on the decline, which is great news,” Fiddian-Green said. “That’s due directly to the all-hands-on-deck effort across many sectors to try to prevent and treat and reduce the harm of those people who suffer from opioid use disorder; think what progress we would’ve made if we had more the double the funding that our analysis shows that Indiana should have received to try to put more resources into preventing people from having an issue such as opioid use disorder and then treating those people who need help.”

The analysis used recently-released data from the Bipartisan Policy Center on federal opioid funding by state for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. It also calculated the percentage of opioid-related deaths using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as University of Virginia researchers.

The report says the four most overfunded states include:

  • California ($506 million)
  • Texas ($254 million)
  • Washington ($91 million)
  • Oregon ($67 million) 

The four most underfunded states, according to the analysis, include:

  • Pennsylvania ($398 million) 
  • Ohio ($329 million)
  • New Jersey ($204 million)
  • Indiana ($175 million)

Fiddian-Green says the foundation hopes the analysis will raise awareness in the disparities in funding “and have people who are interested in continuing to combat the opioid epidemic, ensure that Indiana is receiving its fair share of resources so that we can put additional funding and people into treatment for people who need help, prevention, and then harm-reduction services such as the drug naloxone, which helps reverse drug overdoses.”

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Claire Fiddian-Green says the disparity has a lot to do with a lack of available data.