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Indiana Witnessing A Welcome Drop in Drug Overdose Related Deaths

Naloxone is an overdose-reversal drug used to curb life-threatening overdoses.

(Steve/WFIU News)

Indiana health experts say a sharp increase in naloxone prescriptions may be responsible for a minor drop in overdose-related deaths in the state.

Following a nationwide trend, the number of naloxone prescriptions nearly doubled from 10,460 in 2017 to 19,472 in 2018.

The total number of Hoosiers who died because of drug overdoses dropped from roughly 1,846 in 2017 to just over 1,600 in 2018. That’s about a 13% decline according to The Center for Disease Control data.

Dan Rusyniak is the Chief Medical officer for the Family and Social Services Administration. He says Indiana has been tackling the epidemic on all fronts.

“I think one of the more important goals is to realize what impact we can have when we focus on a problem," Rusyniak says. "And the problem with opioid use disorder has really come into public attention because the number of deaths but the bigger problem really is the addiction epidemic.”

Findings also indicate that opioid pill dispensations decreased in Indiana in 2018 by 23%, a decline rate faster than the national average.

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