In 2017, Gov. Holcomb outlined the state’s strategic plan to address substance abuse in Indiana.
The mission of the plan is to "develop and implement a data-driven system focused on substance abuse prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement that substantially reduces the prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) in Indiana and helps those with SUD achieve recovery and become or return to being productive, contributing members of their communities.”
The plan's major strategies are:
- Reducing the incidence of substance use disorder
- Reducing additional harm that can result from substance abuse
- Improving treatment of persons with SUD
- Developing and augmenting the ability of the Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement to serve its stakeholders, including persons with SUD and their families, providers of services, and units of government
- Supporting and enhancing substantial community-based collaborations aimed at prevention, treatment, and recovery. Encourage and support strengthening the infrastructure of communities (including county public health departments) to increase the capacity of communities to implement evidence-based prevention and treatment programs
The state is providing grants, writing legislation, and partnering with organizations across the state to address the crisis. It launched Next Level Recovery to provide resources for fighting the crisis in Indiana. The “Know the O Facts” campaign aims to reduce the stigma around addiction and educate citizens on substance use disorder. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Wellness Council of Indiana have also partnered to launch the Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative, which focuses on fighting addiction in the workplace. Other Indiana initiatives include:
- Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration created an interactive map (also available on the Next Level Recovery website) that includes all approved treatment centers and a variety of information about each.
- A standing order enabling anyone to purchase naloxone without a prescription remains in effect.
- The state is also providing financial support for scaling, expansion, and sustainability of Youth First prevention programs. Youth First places social workers in schools to provide intervention and prevention programming for at-risk students.
- 90 of Indiana’s 92 counties have at least one drug takeback program and there are numerous year-round takeback sites at hospitals and clinics with onsite pharmacies. Takeback kiosks are being added at numerous other pharmacies.
- FSSA made a policy change that enables Medicaid to pay for comprehensive treatment within an opioid treatment program, including with methadone, the only one of three drugs approved by the FDA for treating opioid use disorders that had previously not been covered.
- Integration of INSPECT, Indiana’s prescription drug monitoring program, with electronic medical records and pharmacy management systems statewide
- HEA 1438 (2017) allows municipalities to establish syringe service programs without state approval. Indiana has nine counties approved to provide syringe services, working to prevent disease and serving as a gateway to public health and social services.
- Utilizing federal Cures Act dollars, first responders across Indiana have been supplied with over 8,000 naloxone kits.
- Five new opioid treatment programs were opened by the first half of 2018. HEA 1007 (2018) authorizes the addition of nine more, which will raise the total to 27 and result in nearly everyone in the state being within a one-hour’s drive of an program. Requests for proposals have been sent out and two future locations have been confirmed in Hendricks and Knox counties. Work progresses to determine the locations for the remaining opioid treatment programs.
- HEA 1359 (2018) increases the penalties for those who manufacture or distribute drugs that result in an overdose death.
- The Department of Correction (DOC) is transforming treatment in state prisons. “Recovery while incarcerated” changes include screening at intake to identify mental health and substance abuse issues, evaluate the need for treatment, and improve treatment planning. Medication-assisted treament is being initiated prior to release, and DOC and FSSA are working together to connect those about to be released with treatment providers in the community.