A federal agency has awarded Indiana nearly $11 million to fight the state’s opioid abuse crisis.
The state’s funding from the Health and Human Services is among $485 million the agency recently awarded to all 50 states and several U.S. territories.
Those grants were awarded based in part on overdose death rates. The funding will support an array of prevention, treatment and recovery services for people addicted to opioids.
Basia Andraka-Christou, a postdoctoral research fellow at The IU Fairbanks School of Public Health thinks the funding signals a change in drug-treatment policy in America.
“I think this is, you know, signs of really for the first time in U.S. history, society really starting to care about drug addiction as a medical problem, as a disease, and I think the discussion around it both within the state of Indiana but also at the federal level are really starting to take less and less of a moral, war on drugs, criminal approach,” Andraka-Christou says.
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks says Indiana has been hard-hit by heroin and prescription opioid abuse. She says the $10.9 million in funding will help it get the resources it “desperately needs” to reduce overdose deaths and boost substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Brooks represents for the 5th Congressional District, which stretches from the north side of Indianapolis to the Marion area.
Ryan DeBattista contributed to this story.