Addiction

IU Researchers Release Policy Recommendations to Combat Opioid Crisis

A new policy report from Indiana University researchers calls for broader and more robust harm-reduction strategies, programs to reduce the stigma of substance use disorder, the creation of broader drug take-back programs, and more expansive "wraparound services" such as job training or housing assistance to support those recovering from substance use disorder.

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Phase One projects of the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenges initiative

Indiana University School of Nursing Dean and Distinguished Professor Robin Newhouse has announced the Phase One projects of the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenges initiative.

As part of IU's $50 million commitment to prevent, reduce and treat addictions in Indiana, initial pilot grants feature collaborative teams of faculty members, researchers, community organizations and cross-sector partners. Together, the projects will address all five focus areas of the statewide initiative: ground-level data collection and analysis; training and education; policy analysis and development; addictions science; and community and workforce development.

An unprecedented epidemic

Heroin and opioid prescriptions

  • Every two and a half hours, someone in Indiana is sent to the hospital for an opioid overdose.
  • In Indiana, there are enough bottles of painkillers in circulation for nearly every Hoosier to have their own.
  • The number of infants born addicted to opioids is increasing at an alarming rate, costing Indiana more than $64 million in 2014 alone.
  • Drug overdose deaths in Indiana cost the state more than $1.4 billion in medical costs and lifetime earnings losses in 2014.
  • Indiana is one of four states where the fatal drug overdose rate has quadrupled since 1999. Because of this rise, Hoosiers are now more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car accident.
  • If this dire trend continues, the opioid death toll in Indiana could top 15,000 in the next decade — more than the entire population of Brown County.

A grassroots approach

Our Grand Challenge initiative begins with a focus on understanding and responding to the needs of our communities. Alongside Governor Holcomb, IU Health and Eskenazi Health, we will unleash the full force of our statewide community partners at the grassroots level. Together we will implement actionable solutions that curb the crippling effects of addiction in Indiana.

A challenge that is this complex requires a comprehensive response. Together with our partners and community, we are responding with an integrated, multidisciplinary approach that can help us understand and address the factors that contribute to addiction.

Robin Newhouse, Dean of Indiana University’s School of Nursing and Executive Chair, Responding to the Addictions Crisis Steering Committee