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Indiana's Addiction Hotline Could See Changes

Indiana is exploring expansion of its addiction hotline and developing a more Indiana-centric program that will help the state in its battle against drug abuse.

Indiana’s addiction hotline, which serves Hoosiers looking for help with substance abuse, problem gambling and consumer services, is run by a national firm that serves multiple states.

State officials are exploring the establishment of an Indiana-specific hotline.  Options include contracting with a private vendor or using state employees to staff the 24-7 service.

Department of Child Services Deputy Chief of Staff Luke Bosso says an Indiana-only hotline could provide the state with valuable data that it can’t necessarily access when using a multi-state hotline.

“We’d also be able to drill down on the specific types of substance abuse.  If a county in southern Indiana was fighting one drug but a county in the northern part of the state was fighting a different one, it would allow us to see all the numbers associated with that,” Bosso says.

Bosso says the state also wants to expand the hotline beyond just a phone number – it’s hoping to develop texting and social media capabilities.

The state’s contract with the national hotline vendor is $92,000 each year.  Officials say they don’t know yet what the cost of an Indiana-specific hotline would be.  The current contract with the national vendor runs through the end of 2016.

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