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Report: Drug Overdose Deaths Reached All-Time High Last Year

More Hoosiers died of a drug overdose last year than any previous year, according to a new report from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. 

The report finds that 1,700 Hoosiers died from a drug overdose in 2017, an all-time high and a 75 percent increase since 2011.

The state has implemented a number of new laws to address opioid misuse and while the number of prescription overdoses has decreased, deaths tied to fentanyl use are on the rise.

The report finds opioid use is highest among 18-25 year olds in Indiana. And the statewide death rate for African Americans has doubled over the past five years.

Fairbanks Foundation President and CEO Claire Fiddian-Green says more must be done to address the crisis.

The report recommends greater access to evidence-based treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment.

"The evidence clearly shows that people remain abstinent much longer and they can more quickly return to a meaningful life where they are engaged and not in the throws of addiction," Fiddian-Green says. 

Other strategies include increasing prevention programs for young Hoosiers and expansion of harm reduction methods.

Fairbanks Opioid Epidemic Report - 2018 by Indiana Public Media News on Scribd

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