Partnership Wins Grant To Fight Opioid Use

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A partnership between the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, city of Indianapolis and the Marion County Reentry Coalition will use a $1.2 million grant to fight the opioid epidemic.

The Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the "Integrated Response Project" for its aim to reduce opioid use and related deaths in Marion County. The project hopes to help two groups: 1-Those incarcerated in the Marion County Jail who have been diagnosed with substance abuse or have a history of opioid use, 2- Non-violent people at risk of arrest due to substance use or mental health issues. 

“Evidence-based approaches and effective cross-sector coalitions are critical as we work to help individuals struggling with substance use disorder,” said Jim McClelland, Indiana Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. “This grant provides funding to connect people with the resources to help them recover from this disease and become or return to being productive, contributing members of the community.”

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, at least 85 percent of current inmates have a substance abuse problem. The grant would allow for partners to provide an "active engagement program", which would connect them with services and resources to address substance abuse issues and support after their release from jail. 

The grant is also expected to further the efforts of the Reuben Engagement Center partnership, which is working to keep non-violent offenders with substance abuse issues out of jail. The funding would enable to divert them to a shelter where services and resources could be used. 

“Focusing on treatment over imprisonment benefits all in our community,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We’ll see better outcomes for individuals struggling with substance abuse, reduce the burden on our jail to care for these individuals, and minimize the costs that are passed on to taxpayers when individuals repeatedly cycle through the justice system.”

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