Community stakeholders across Indiana are working to address the opioid crisis and improve Hoosier life. Here are just a few examples of how various organizations in the state are actively addressing the crisis.
How Indiana organizations are addressing the addictions crisis
Belden's electric wire factory in Richmond, Ind., offers free drug treatment to all job applicants who fail a drug test. Applicants are guaranteed a job after completing the treatment. Belden is the second largest employer in Wayne County and is using this strategy to address a lack of qualified workers and the growing opioid epidemic.
The Columbus-based manufacturer has started providing employees with resources relating to addiction. Cummins has also enlisted its pharmacy benefits manager to track employees' opioid prescriptions and opened a new health center at their headquarters with alternative pain treatments. Instead of turning employees with addictions away, the company is helping them get treatment and recover.
The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company is taking steps to address the lack of non-addictive pain medicine. Eli Lilly is currently partnering with Pfizer to develop non-opioid drugs to address pain.
The owners of Elwood Staffing set up a $500,000 matching-donation fund to support educational programs to prevent substance abuse.
Community Health is investing many resources to combat the opioid crisis. The health network will help to implement the This is (Not) About Drugs prevention program for students in sixth and ninth grades. In partnership with IUPUI, the University of Indianapolis, and Ascend Indiana, the Community Health Network is also establishing the Community Behavioral Health Academy. The academy will prepare more licensed behavioral health specialists with the skills to address addcition, substance use disorder, and other issues associated with the opioid epidemic. With funding from the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, Community Health has also launched a Neonatal Opioid Addiction Project that will work to treat babies born addicted to opioids.
Eskenazi Health has partnered with Indiana University for its Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge to address the crisis in Indiana. The healthcare system has also launched its own initiatives to fight the crisis, including important treatment programs.
Franciscan Health launched the Grace Project to help pregnant women dealing with addiction. The program provides financial aid to families who come to the hospital suffering from substance addiction. Babies suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome receive help through the program to ensure they recover as quickly as possible.
IU Health has partnered with Indiana University for the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge and has launched a number of initiatives to address the opioid crisis. The healthcare company plans to integrate maternity and neonatal services at Riley Hospital for Children to address the increasing rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome and has launched a narcotic-free urinary tract surgery to decrease the number of addictive drugs used during this surgery. It has hosted events across the state teaching Hoosiers how to use overdose-reversing drugs. Peer recovery coaches are available in all ERs to assist patients who have an addiction. These coaches will direct patients to addictions services and ensure they get the help they need.
ASAP-BC is a community-wide response to Bartholomew County’s opioid crisis, including prevention, education, inpatient and outpatient treatment options, and resources for recovery. The initiative's goals are to eliminate the stigma associated with addiction, build an understanding of substance misuse as a public health crisis, and encourage broad community-wide support. Sponsors include the Mayor of the City of Columbus, Bartholomew County Commissioner, and the CEO of Columbus Regional Health. Oversight is provided by the Bartholomew County Healthy Communities Council.
Indiana Recovery Alliance
A harm-reduction nonprofit based in Bloomington, Ind., the Indiana Recovery Alliance collaborates with people to make self-directed positive change in their lives. The organization serves as an access point for many services that it provides directly, such as syringe exchange and opiate overdose reversal trainings, and for referrals to numerous community partners.
The Indiana State Medical Association helps physicians address questions about opioid prescribing and addictions. With funding from The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, ISMA is creating an app and accompanying podcast that will help doctors keep up with training requirements and help reduce reliance on addictive pain pills.
Overdose Lifeline is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities affected by the disease of addiction / substance use disorder through advocacy, education, harm reduction, prevention, resources, and support. It has developed the only youth awareness prevention program to address the dangers of opioids, now used in more than a dozen states and nearly 200 delivery partners. The nonprofit has worked with lawmakers allowing for over-the-counter naloxone access and trained and distributed more than 15,000 naloxone kits to first responders and the public across 70+ Indiana counties. It is the first organization in the United States to be trained to deliver an evidence-based personality-targeted approach to adolescent substance use prevention, which is piloting in Indiana. Overdose Lifeline has also developed evidence-informed training courses that help to improve collaboration and outcomes.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is providing funding to pursue evidence-based solutions to the opioid crisis, including the Indiana State Medical Association app to educate doctors on alternative treatments to opioids, and has partnered with the Indianapolis Star, enabling them to do a yearlong reporting project on the opioid crisis.
Ball State University
Ball State is launching a new Master of Social Work program in Fall 2019 to help meet the need for licensed clinical social workers who can help address addiction and other issues, especially in rural areas.
With many state and community partners, IU has launched a $50 million initiative called Responding to the Addictions Crisis as part of IU's Grand Challenges program. IU also conducts research on addiction outside of the grand challenge and across all of its campuses. The university offers addiction counseling on all of its campuses and is in the process of expanding this program on its Bloomington campus.
Purdue has launched BoilerWoRx, a health initiative focused on a wide variety of services to combat the opioid crisis. Purdue Extension is providing community-based prevention education in partnership with local communities throughout the state. In Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, faculty and students are working on a variety of devices and technologies to combat the crisis, including biosensors, smart watches, and wearables.