BREAKING NEWS Off-duty Boswell Town Marshal dies in single-vehicle crash Full Story
SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

IU officials, Holcomb announce $50M opioid recovery effort

Indiana residents are more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car crash.

Posted: Oct 12, 2017 7:36 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2017 4:08 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana residents are more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car crash.

That grim statistic was offered Tuesday by Indiana University officials who joined Gov. Eric Holcomb at the Statehouse to announce a new effort funded by $50 million in university money to fight opioid abuse.

"If I could do but just one thing as governor â?? accomplish just one major thing â?? it would be to bend the trajectory of opioid abuse down," said Holcomb, a Republican, who has made the issue a cornerstone of his agenda.

"This crisis affects everyone â?? all socio-economic levels, all races, all backgrounds."

Opiate abuse has spiked across much of the country, but Indiana's problem is particularly acute. Officials say Indiana is one of four states where overdose deaths have more than quadrupled since 1999.

IU plans to use the money and its academic expertise to help collect data on the scope of the problem, train health care workers and craft better public policy.

IU School of Nursing Dean Robin Newhouse says there is a dearth of statewide data. Without it, officials have a hard time devoting resources to the right areas.

"What were told is the data is so disparate and unconnected that policy makers, organizations, can't even make decisions using evidence," Newhouse said.

Another area the school has targeted is training and education. The state lacks an adequate number of frontline workers who are trained to help in the recovery process, like nurse practitioners, social workers and psychiatrists.

Newhouse says the university wants to develop a framework that will help medical workers better identity patients who may be addicted and get them referred for treatment.

Still, one major question hovers over the state's efforts to reduce opioid dependency: Will there be enough funding to make a significant difference?

Holcomb has asked the federal government for permission to use Medicaid funds made available through former President Barack Obama's signature health care law for drug abuse treatment. A ruling on that has yet to come, but it could bring upward of $60 million for expanded drug treatment to the state's Healthy Indiana Plan, commonly called HIP 2.0, which covers more than 400,000 low-income people.

Democrats have targeted Holcomb on that front, suggesting there are "two Holcombs."

One supports directing additional resources to fight the opioid problem. The other, Democrats sugget, backed two of the GOP's recent failed attempts at gutting Obama's law, which also would have slashed funding for HIP 2.0, including drug treatment.

"He's counting on DC Republicans' actions on health care to fail," said Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody. "It's a risky bet and one that puts politics ahead of the countless Hoosiers just trying to get on the path toward recovery."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Summary

Lafayette
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 59°
Kokomo
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Lafayette
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 59°
Danville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 55°
March coming in like a lamb Monday...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events