The Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse (“Commission”) met on Thursday, May 3, 2018 to continue its collaboration and work to combat various drug and addiction issues in Indiana.
Several updates on current initiatives were first provided, including the status of INSPECT integration, the state’s recent Drug Takeback Day, and the progress of the OpenBeds platform. Executive Director of Drug Treatment, Prevention, and Enforcement, Jim McClelland, began by providing an update on the status of the INSPECT integration initiative to integrate practitioners’ electronic medical records with the Indiana’s prescription drug monitoring program across the state. To date, 34 entities have completed integration, and 45 more entities are in the process. Executive Director McClelland then provided some initial statistics from Indiana’s Drug Takeback Day, which was held on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The single day was estimated to have collected more than 9,500 pounds of prescriptions statewide. Finally, Dr. Jennifer Walthall, Secretary of the Family & Social Services Administration, updated the Commission on the progress of the OpenBeds platform, which connects those suffering from an addiction with an available treatment option. Since beginning on Thursday, March 15, 2018, OpenBeds has connected over 115 individuals to care, and notably, the platform has dramatically reduced the amount of time that an individual has to wait before being connected to the services that they need.
The Commission then heard from several local communities, including Howard County, the City of Lawrenceburg, and Bartholomew County, on local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Each are creating individualized systems of care within their communities in order to provide a continuum of care to their residents once an addiction is identified. For example, the City of Lawrenceburg created quick response teams that visit overdose survivors within 48 hours of an overdose to provide counseling and support. Each team consists of a law enforcement officer, a mental health provider, and a Fire/EMS personnel.
Finally, the Commission was provided an overview of the budget for the second year of the federal Cures Act Funding. Indiana received $10.9 million in 2017, and will receive another $10.9 million in 2018. Some highlights of the budget for the second year of funding are as follows: 1) $800,000 for local crisis teams; 2) $1.5 million for recovery coaches in emergency departments; 3) $2.5 million for additional residential treatment; 4) $500,000 for Naloxone distribution; and 5) $750,000 to continue the stigma reduction campaign.
More about the Commission and its composition can be found here. The next meeting of the Commission will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2018.