Indiana Has A New Plan To Combat Drug Abuse, Addiction
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s drug czar is revealing a plan to fight the state’s drug epidemic.
Indiana Executive Director for Drug Treatment, Prevention and Enforcement Jim McClelland presented the plan during a meeting of the Commission to Combat Drug Abuse on Thursday.
“This framework and action plan reflect months of partnership with diverse stakeholders and research on Indiana’s drug crisis,” McClelland said. “While much work remains, this plan is a critical first step in meeting Gov. Holcomb’s charge to attack our drug epidemic and its devastating effects on Hoosier lives.”
Addressing the drug abuse problem has been identified as one of Governor Eric Holcomb’s top priorities. He created McClelland’s position by executive order issued on his first day in office last January.
The key principles of the strategic plan are to be data driven, comprehensive and holistic, and collaborative among local, state, and federal agencies. Some of the main strategies include reducing the occurrence of substance abuse disorder and improving treatment of people battling addiction.
The plan also calls for the development a network to distribute Narcan to local communities.
The state also received a $10.9 million grant, some of which will help pay for 60 to 75 new recovery facility beds. That’s in addition to $5 million state lawmakers set aside for the overall effort.
State Representative Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) was at the meeting. She and her sons, Connor and Sean Ryan, shared their family’s past struggles with drug addiction. The young men gave personal testimony about overcoming heroin addiction and the effectiveness of substance abuse and addiction treatment facilities and programs.
“This isn’t easy for me to share, but it’s important that people know that they aren’t alone in the fight with drug addiction,” Ziemke said. “Through Sean and Connor’s personal accounts, it’s my hope that the public will understand that drugs consume families in even the smallest of communities throughout Indiana.”
Ziemke said it’s crucial for the commission to hear from Hoosiers who continue to lead a successful path to recovery.