The lives of countless Americans are being devastated by addiction. Heroin overdoses are at an all-time high. Prescription painkillers are being misused at alarming rates. More Americans have died from drug overdoses (630,000 from 1999-2016) than from the entire HIV/AIDs epidemic (507,351 from 1987-2015).
Addiction does not discriminate—it affects all of us, including our friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Without a sustained and comprehensive effort, this public health crisis—both in Indiana and around the country—will continue to endanger the health of our families, our businesses, and our communities. As recognized by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the complexity and scope of the problem require that all sectors come together to address all aspects of addiction. Preventing, treating, and ending addictions in Indiana necessitates that local communities, state agencies, lawmakers, private industry, healthcare, community and nongovernmental organizations, and research universities each have a crucial role.