More than 1,000 criminal justice, health and community officials representing every county in Indiana are at the Indiana Convention Center today for the Statewide Opioid Summit. Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush says the goal is "educating all the players" on the front line of the crisis about the science of addiction and evidence-based best practices. Rush says the solution will come from an "all hands on deck" approach, not building and filling more prisons and jails.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Rush said the criminal justice system has a key role to play in the process. She says the system is the number one outside referral to get people into treatment, and that often treatment happens when someone is in jail.
Panels and discussions at today’s event range from treatment in a jail setting to legal and policy hurdles to effective treatment. One panel will feature faculty members from Indiana University, which last year launched a $50 million Grand Challenges initiative to address the crisis of addiction throughout the state. The effort, Responding to the Addictions Crisis, includes projects in areas including early intervention, addiction treatment and expanding training and certification to address the shortage of addictions professionals.
Yesterday, a coalition of community, business and law enforcement organizations joined Indiana Executive Director of Drug Enforcement Treatment and Prevention Jim McLelland to launch an initiative aimed at combating the state’s opioid epidemic. Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative Indiana will provide grants and resources to organizations and communities throughout the state. The first $25,000 grant went to the Indiana Chamber and Wellness Council of Indiana’s Workforce Recovery Initiative, designed to help Hoosier employers support employees with substance abuse disorders.
Today’s summit at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis is organized by the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana University Addictions Grand Challenge and the Association of Indiana Counties.