Comprehensive approach to combat opioid addiction

By: 
Steve Davisson, State Representative

State lawmakers took additional steps in the 2018 legislative session to help combat opioid addiction from every angle. From curbing the supply to strengthening enforcement and expanding treatment options, these new laws work to save more lives and end the cycle of addiction.

Before prescribing potentially addictive medications, health care professionals throughout Indiana will begin checking the state's prescription monitoring system, INSPECT. By consulting INSPECT, pharmacists and doctors will be able to determine if a patient is "doctor shopping" for multiple, simultaneous prescriptions.  A similar database, NPLEx, has been instrumental in the fight against meth labs because it tracks and enforces Indiana's cold medication purchase limits, helping prevent meth cooks from obtaining crucial meth-making ingredients.

Enforcement is key in decreasing the supply of and demand for deadly drugs. Now, those who deal or illegally manufacture drugs that lead to the death of a user can be charged with the highest possible felony.   

To better ensure Hoosiers are within an hour's drive of receiving help, the number of opioid treatment locations will be increased from 18 to 27.    

As policymakers continue to address this important issue, we need accurate and data-driven information on the number and location of drug overdose deaths. A new law outlines autopsy and data reporting requirements for local coroners when they investigate suspected overdose deaths.   

By attacking this public health crisis from every angle, hopefully we can prevent addiction before it starts, keep drug dealers off our streets and get more Hoosiers into lifesaving treatment. 

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