INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s top leaders met Thursday afternoon to discuss real solutions to Indiana’s drug abuse crisis.
“Because there was a need,” Dr. Anthony Sanders, OB-GYN at the Community Physician Network said Thursday afternoon.
Three years ago, Dr. Anthony Sanders created a program at Community Hospital to help addicted mothers and babies.
“The idea behind it is to try to reduce the risk or rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is withdrawal from multiple substances that a baby might be exposed to during pregnancy,” Dr. Sanders explained.
The program has treated roughly 50 patients so far this year.
“It’s inspiring, and a little bit heartbreaking,” Dr. Sanders said. “With the successes that we’ve had, they make us feel really good about ourselves, to a degree. But then it also makes me wonder, who are we missing out on?”
The hospital is already working on expanding the program.
Thanks to legislation recently signed into law, a few million dollars will go to open three addiction recovery centers statewide.
Becky Buhner is the deputy director of Addiction & Forensic Treatment within the Division of Mental Health and Addiction at Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration.
Buhner explained her office is working to set up those networks.
“The idea is that it will be an area where they can walk into a facility and regardless of their area of need, whether that’s a substance abuse disorder related to opiates or alcohol, or whether that’s prescriptions, they can walk in and get an assessment and access the level of treatment that they need,” Buhner explained.
Buhner said separate from that, five opioid treatment centers will open statewide this year. These are tangible solutions coming to life to help keep addicted Hoosiers alive.
“We’re making some good headway,” Jim McClelland, the executive director of Drug Prevention, Treatment & Enforcement, also known as Indiana’s “Drug Czar,” explained Thursday afternoon. “Been a lot of progress. Still have a long way to go. We are seeing a decline now, finally, in drug overdose deaths. It’s coming down. We still have way too many people dying.”
The three separate comprehensive addiction recovery centers are expected to be up and running within the next 12 months.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed SEA 141, an office-based opioid treatment provider bill, into law on May 5.
Gov. Holcomb released the following statement about the new legislation saying:
“Timely access to quality treatment is essential for Hoosiers overcoming addiction. With our goal of most residents being no more than an hour away from an opioid treatment program, it’s important that we have office-based treatment in every community. I am thrilled to sign this legislation that balances guidelines for providers and ensures a standard of care will be met for every Hoosier in need of medication-assisted treatment.”