Indiana News

Indiana’s drug abuse fight: ‘We’re on a good path. We have a long way yet to go’

Indiana’s drug abuse fight: ‘We’re on a good path. We have a long way yet to go’

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s drug abuse crisis is killing Hoosiers, and state leaders are working to put an end to it.

Kyle Morris knows what it means to struggle with addiction. He was introduced to opioids at age 18.

“I became addicted rather quickly, 100% out of recreational use,” Morris said.

Morris hit rock bottom and eventually clawed his way up and out for his family. He shared his story with state officials Thursday morning.

“It’s hard to not get emotional with what I’ve been given because of the resources that you guys have made available to people like me.” Morris said.

Thursday, the state’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse met for an update on where the drug abuse fight stands statewide. State data shows 682 opioid related deaths so far in 2019. That number is down from 1,010 deaths in all of last year.

“We have a lot more treatment sites around the state now. There’s a much greater use of medication-assisted treatment than there was three years ago. Certainly that has some bearing on the reduction of opioid-related deaths,” said Jim McClelland, executive director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. “Of course we’re also seeing a surge in methamphetamine use.”

Hendricks County Superior Court Judge Mark Smith says he sees the fallout from meth in his drug court.

“My caseload is now dominated by meth,” said Smith. “I have not had a new heroin case in I can’t tell you how long. Everything’s meth.”

State data also shows a noticeable decline in drug-related arrests in 2019 compared to 2018.

“We’re on a good path,” McClelland explained. “We’re seeing encouraging trends. We have a long way yet to go. It’s going to take a long time.”

For information on help and support from Indiana’s overdose lifeline click here.

Additional Resources:

  • Indiana’s Next Level Recovery program
  • Call 211 for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or click here to connect with help.
  • Call the Indiana Addiction Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit here to live chat with a representative.
  • Through a partnership between Indiana 211 and OpenBeds, people seeking treatment for substance use disorder can be immediately connected with available inpatient or residential treatment services.