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‘Opioids are killing our kids’: Indiana commission on drug abuse convenes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s no secret: Drug abuse is a problem affecting Indiana.

But help is out there. The Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse met on Thursday to talk about how it can help Hoosiers.

According to the state of Indiana, four out of five new heroin users start by misusing prescription painkillers. That is just one of the startling facts facing the state.

People packed into a room at the Hope Academy in Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon to talk about one thing: the grip of opioids on the state of Indiana.

“Opioids are killing our kids. They’re killing our moms and our days, our brothers and our sisters,” Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, a member of the commission, said.

The state’s commission to combat drugs discussed many things Thursday, including providing more beds for substance abuse patients and adding permanent drug disposal locations across Indiana. In addition, Indiana University has plans to invest $50 million over five years, in research and education to fight the addiction crisis.

“Every community in Indiana should be concerned about this.That’s why we’re here — to talk about that problem, to talk about resources, talk about combining those resources. No one person has all the answers here,” said Carter.

The commission, which began meeting in January, is responsible for coordinating substance abuse prevention, drug treatment and drug enforcement across Indiana. It was state leaders coming together, talking real resources.

“This gives us a platform to do that and have very open, very candid conversations with elected officials, and with treatment professionals and the like,” said Carter.

Commission members said the work they’re doing is a matter of life and death for Hoosiers.

According to state data, opioid deaths in Indiana have gone up 271 percent from 2010 to 2016.

“It’s as bad as anything we could’ve possibly predicted, and we missed it by a mile. That’s how bad it is,” Carter explained.

For more information about the state’s fight against addiction, and to find resources, click here.

If you or someone you know is fighting addiction, click here for treatment and help where you live.

For more resources where you live, click here.

You can also dial 211 or call the Call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or click here to talk with a live person.