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Analysis Urges Better Policy To Prevent Death Due To Pain

A new report examines how many people in Indiana might lose their lives to drugs, alcohol, and suicide if trends continue over the next decade.

The Pain in the Nation report was compiled by non-profit policy group Trust For America’s Health. It finds Indiana’s rate of deaths could rise from 43 to 61 people per 100,000 by 2025 if the focus on individual well-being isn’t addressed.

That places Indiana in the middle of the pack compared with other states.

Well Being Trust’s policy analyst Ben Miller says deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide are linked to a larger issue.

“We’ve got to be able to more adequately address pain and recognize that pain is not just tissue and nerves,” says Miller. “Sometimes it’s emotion.”

The study examines state policies that may help reduce the number of deaths. Indiana has implemented several, such as limiting prescriptions and support of syringe exchanges.

Miller says changes to holistic care can start with front line providers.

“If their first response to you is ‘OK, I think this is depression and we don’t do that here,’ that perpetuates fragmentation and highlights this mind body split,” says Miller.

Areas where state policy is lacking include required school interventions and preventative programs.

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