Responding to the Addictions Crisis

Addiction is devastating countless lives. Heroin overdoses are at an all-time high. Prescription painkillers are being misused at alarming rates. To put this national epidemic in perspective, for the first time, Americans are more likely to die of an opioid overdose than in a car crash.

Recovering from this crisis is not an easy path, but as a state, Indiana is not standing idle. Many partners are joining together to respond to the rising problems associated with addiction. Indiana state government has launched programs to support its citizens, while Indiana University and many other organizations are dedicating time and resources to ensure communities get the help they need. With the combined effort of many hands, addiction will no longer control the lives of too many Hoosiers.

1,800+Indiana overdose deaths in 2017

70,000+U.S. overdose deaths in 2017

Upcoming Event

11th Annual Indiana Recovery Month Symposium (IN ARMS) -- Join the Voices for Recovery; Together We Are Stronger

The IN ARMs symposium brings together addiction, mental health, criminal justice and community-based organizations to explore promising approaches to recovery. The symposium offers a diverse selection of breakout sessions intended to meet the needs and interests of all attendees.


September 23-24, 2019

Embassy Suites by Hilton
6089 Clarks Creek Road
Plainfield, IN 46168

Learn more about this event

Highlights: Leading the Fight to Curb a Statewide Epidemic

Description of the video:

What does it mean to be a Hoosier? What does it mean to call Indiana “home?” It means working hard. Playing harder. And always lending a hand when help is needed. And at this moment, help is needed more than ever. Our state and our way of life are at risk. Beset on all sides by an invisible, but deadly, force: Addiction. It’s damaging our families and eroding the foundations of our communities. But there is hope. Because we’re Hoosiers. And we’re fighting back. In collaboration with the State of Indiana, business and community partners, Indiana University launched the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative in 2017. It’s a $50 million multi-faceted plan with a single goal: To take back our communities. And to do it together. With sixteen projects already underway, we’re tackling the addiction problem with our best resources and brightest minds. Like Emily Scott, an Indiana University physician and researcher who is leading the battle against Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome—a condition that afflicts babies exposed to drugs in the womb. Scott is working directly with mothers to give babies born with NAS a chance for a better life. Indiana University scientists are working to uncover the underlying mechanisms of addiction. The more we know about how it affects the brain, the more effectively we can treat it. We’re also arming our hardest-hit communities with the tools to fight back. Naloxone training programs, education and outreach efforts are helping healthcare workers and law enforcement officers serve their communities—and save lives. Across the state, we’re working with judges, law enforcement, health care providers, community health workers serving as lay recovery coaches, and municipalities to inform and develop new approaches to this mounting epidemic. We’ve done a lot already. And we’re just getting started. Working together, we’re making strides every day. Along the way, we’ll evaluate our progress and make adjustments where necessary. Because failure is not an option. We won’t stop until we’ve restored hope to Indiana communities. Because helping our fellow Hoosiers… is our number one priority.

By making more strategic use of resources, focusing on critical issues facing the state, and working closely with key partners, we hope to achieve a greater impact in Indiana and around the world.

Fred Cate, Vice President for Research

About Grand Challenges

We’re tackling large-scale, complex problems that require collaboration across disciplines, industries, and communities. Our success will be measured by the tangible impact our programs have on the lives of Hoosiers.

Launched in 2017, Responding to the Addictions Crisis is the newest initiative of Indiana University’s Grand Challenges program aimed at solving some of the most difficult challenges facing Indiana.

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