Davisson: Tackling opioid addiction during the second half of session

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Sydney Livingston  | Friday, March 8, 2019 2:00 am

Opioid addiction is a continuing problem throughout Indiana and the United States. We must work to overcome this serious, long-lasting disease and provide support to those who need it most. This session, I am sponsoring two senate bills to help address the opioid epidemic and improve the health of Hoosiers.

In 2015, there were approximately 5.8 million opioid prescriptions provided to Hoosiers. Opioids are typically prescribed to patients by doctors to treat severe and chronic pain. Many times, those needing a strong pain-relieving prescription do not realize they are receiving a highly addictive opioid.  

As a pharmacist, I understand how confusing prescription labels can be, and I sometimes come across patients who are unaware their prescription contains opium. Legislation I am working on would require pharmacists to clearly label opioid prescriptions. This measure would add necessary transparency for Hoosier consumers, better equip individuals to make informed decisions about their health and increase awareness about the drug’s addictive qualities.

Many who struggle with addiction can face a long and hard battle, and they often need outside support to overcome it. There are several comprehensive addiction recovery centers for Hoosiers across the state that provide detox, treatment and recovery programs. Many times the centers are a beacon of hope for those struggling with not only opioid addiction, but also addictions to substances like methamphetamine and cocaine.

Another bill I am sponsoring would establish the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Center Grant Program for recovery centers in Indiana. These grants could help centers with their community outreach initiatives, treatment and recovery efforts, and facility maintenance. Funds from this program would be administered by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and grants would be evenly distributed across the state.

Addiction is a very real problem that is facing our communities. It is important that we take steps toward addressing this issue, and these are just two pieces of legislation that offer solutions. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call Indiana’s 24-hour addiction hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,

Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

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