The Association of Indiana Municipalities annual conference brought leaders from all over the state to Evansville this week.
In the closing luncheon, 2017 AIM President Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke asked Governor Eric Holcomb about the opioid crisis. Holcomb says he will remain positive on addressing the issue.
“It is very easy to become fatalistic on this front,” Holcomb says. “I refuse to do that; I refuse to be pessimistic.”
Earlier this week Indiana University announced a $50 million investment over five years to tackle the opioid crisis among Hoosiers.
And while there has been some success, Holcomb says the state still has work to do.
“We have to acknowledge that even with all of the funding going into prevention and enforcement, folks are going to slip through the cracks; folks are gonna make one bad decision and often times it leads to two, three, four, five more bad decisions and hijacks the brain ultimately,” Holcomb says.
Drug overdose deaths increased over 500 percent in Indiana since 1999 and surpassed motor vehicle traffic-related deaths in 2008.