Responding to the Addictions Crisis

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are devastating countless lives. The misuse of to heroin, prescription painkillers, methamphetamine, and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, has created a national crisis affecting millions of Americans.

Recovering from this crisis is not an easy path, but as a state, Indiana is not standing idle. Many partners have joined together to respond to the rising problems associated with SUDs. Indiana state government has launched programs to support its citizens and many organizations are dedicating time and resources to ensure communities get the help they need. At Indiana University, we are leveraging the strengths of our seven campuses and creating partnerships throughout the state to lead one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive state-based responses to this crisis.

Addressing inequality

Indiana University is investing in reducing racial and ethnic disparities found in substance use disorders and eradicating the racial barriers in substance use research through the funding of 11 research projects.

Read about the projects

COVID-19 impact on substance use disorder

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 virus, people with substance use disorder are at particular risk of being affected by interruptions in medical care and challenges associated with isolation and social distancing. Researchers at IU remain committed to addressing the addictions crisis that continues to take place throughout the state and to finding ways to address the needs of those coping with SUD during the pandemic.

More information on the work IU is doing related to COVID-19 is available online. 

See below for more resources related to substance use and COVID-19.

Turning to alcohol

A study by Hank Green shows alcohol use and frequency grew amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Read more about the study


Recovery during a pandemic

Melissa Cyders and colleagues from IU Southeast and IU South Bend are looking at how people with substance use disorder are impacted by COVID-19.

Read about the study

Access to services

Zachary Adams is studying the emotional and behavioral impact of the pandemic on young people and how to best connect them with needed mental health services.

Read how

Confronting the addiction crisis with 160 partnerships throughout Indiana

Use the map below to learn more about our partnerships throughout the state.

Expanding Clinical Training

Conducting Public Health Research & Developing Policy Recommendations

Improving Access to Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Services

Partnering with Harm Reduction Organizations

View text alternative of map information

IU's committed to Indiana

Fighting the addictions crisis is personal. Researchers with IU’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge are working every day to solve pressing challenges with one focus in mind: making life better for Hoosiers everywhere.

Description of the video:

[Remarks by Scott Long, Mayor of Wabash, Indiana and father of two daughters who struggle with substance use disorder, amidst footage of Long in City Hall and walking the streets of Wabash, Ind.]

“Addiction in our community – it’s a community problem. It’s important for universities like IU to come alongside these communities that don’t have the resources that are available at these institutions.”

[Remarks from Latasha Timberlake, a community health worker, with footage of her speaking with a colleague at the clinic where she meets with patients suffering from substance use disorder.]

“It gives our patients hope. Another resource another avenue that they did not know was available to them.”

[Additional remarks from Mayor Long with footage of him in his City Hall office.]

“We can tap into the resources at IU to help us with this battle, alongside communities throughout the state of Indiana.”

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.

Learn more