Indiana University’s third Grand Challenges initiative aims to address the crisis of addiction throughout the state. IU President Michael McRobbie says the $50 million project, Responding to the Addictions Crisis, will leverage resources from the university’s seven campuses throughout the state in what is being called one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state-based responses to the opioid addiction epidemic.
The initiative is being led by Robin Newhouse, dean of the IU School of Nursing, who will oversee a team of interdisciplinary researchers from throughout the IU system. The university says the project will also run in partnership with state officials, IU Health, Eskenazi Health and others.
At a news conference Tuesday at the Indiana Statehouse, McRobbie said the $50 million for the initiative will be deployed over five years, with about $13 million being deployed over the next months to cover 10 project in several areas, including substance abuse prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery and enforcement, as well as an expansion of education training and certification to address the "significant shortage" of addictions professionals.
"We will bring to bear IU’s considerable expertise in data collection and analysis to turn data into actionable intelligence for health providers, government agencies, employers and community organizations," said McRobbie. "We will deploy IU’s expertise in policy analysis, economics and legal reform to reduce the availability of opioids in medicine cabinets and on the street and to inform decisions made by our state’s elected officials."
Funding for the initiative will come from existing funds that will be reprioritized for new use.
IU says Indiana is one of four states where the fatal drug overdose rate has more than quadrupled since 1999 with the total cost of drug overdoses topping $1 billion each year. You can learn more about the Responding to the Addictions Crisis by clicking here and in the video below:
IU President Michael McRobbie says it addictions crisis in Indiana and the U.S. must be addressed.
IU School of Nursing Dean Robin Newhouse describes some of the issues that will be addressed first.