Understanding the Crisis

The impact and costs of addiction and substance use disorders

The prevalence of addictions and substance use disorders in Indiana and the nation is unprecedented, leading to overdose deaths, shattered communities, new clusters of infectious disease, more children needing foster care, and threats to Indiana’s economic vitality.

Consider these facts:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids.
  • Fatal drug overdoses in Indiana increased by 150% between 2005 and 2016.
  • Fatal opioid overdoses increased by 400% in that same period.
  • According to an Indiana University study, the misuse of these drugs has cost the state $43.3 billion.
  • Economic damage from the misuse of opioids in Indiana will exceed $4 billion for 2018 -- or about $11 million each day.

Our national addictions crisis is complex, requiring solutions that go beyond immediate treatment or criminal justice responses to address all facets of the problem, from the social and environmental factors surrounding addiction to intervention responses such as harm reduction.