The new Indiana Opioid Consortium has named Amnah Anwar director of the statewide consortium. It is gearing up to combat what she describes as “a crisis that has exploded in Indiana and has severely impacted rural communities and residents.” 

In addition to a renewed focus on prevention, the consortium will focus on both increasing the availability of behavioral health services for individuals with Opioid-Use Disorder in rural areas and helping ensure that professionals and community members associated with dedicated Opioid Treatment Facilities (physical and telehealth-based) have needed training and education tools.

The Indiana Opioid Consortium will be funded by a three-year grant of $750,000 (total) from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. CDC data shows that Indiana providers write an average of 109 painkiller prescriptions per 100 people, which puts Indiana at the 9th highest in the United States.

In addition to improving access to treatment and recovery services in a primary care setting, the Consortium is expected to contribute to research on pain and addiction and advancing better practices for pain management.

Seven clinical and educational partners will comprise the Indiana Opioid Consortium. They are: Indiana Rural Health Association/Indiana Rural Schools Clinic Network/Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network; Fayette Regional Health System – Fayette County; Indiana University Health Bedford Hospital – Lawrence County; Logansport Memorial Hospital – Cass County, Indiana; mdlogix – Owings Mills, Maryland; New Avenues – South Bend and WhiteBark Health Academy – Terre Haute.

The Indiana Opioid Consortium will tackle the development of a regional model for OUD identification, treatment and recovery services in rural areas and rural communities. The consortium will help set up a referral system to promote lasting recovery and a preventive educational model.