The Indiana General Assembly is working to address many different issues including an opioid epidemic that has hit Indiana hard. Increasing access to treatment for those suffering from addiction has been a top priority this session, which is why I am supporting efforts to establish pilot programs to help our youngest victims and those in the criminal justice system who are dealing with substance abuse.
Nationwide, those dealing with substance abuse who enter the criminal justice system have a 75 percent rate of reoffending. I have sponsored legislation that would establish a pilot program for those afflicted with addiction to participate in a sober living community that would allow patients to detox, learn applicable life and vocational skills, and reenter the community. The program will take place in Allen County, which like many other counties, has been overwhelmed by the opioid epidemic. Allen County has the third-largest population in Indiana and the criminal justice system is suffering under the strain. This program will serve as a tool for the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse by providing valuable insight into the effectiveness of this model, and may also result in expanding the opportunity for similar programs in our area based on its success.
Sadly, children are also victims of drug abuse. Of all Indiana children removed from their homes, 52.2 percent of those cases are due to some degree of parental substance abuse. A new pilot program proposed by the General Assembly would counter this trend by expanding appropriate treatment opportunities to women and newborns across the state. The program provides expecting mothers counseling, life skills training, parenting skills classes and medication assisted treatment. This pilot would not only treat the physical symptoms of opioid addiction but would also provide valuable skills necessary for these new parents to live on their own independently and sober. Programs such as these would be beneficial for families all across the state.
I am always looking for ways to help make Indiana a safe and healthy place for Hoosiers to live. As lawmakers continue to fight illegal drug use, please contact me with any questions or input at 317-232-9648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Rep. Steve Davisson represents Washington County and parts of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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