STATEHOUSE (April 6, 2018) — Hoosiers statewide will soon be within an hour-long drive of an opioid treatment center thanks to legislation authored by State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove).
This new law, signed by the governor on Friday, will increase the number of opioid treatment programs from 18 to 27. Kirchhofer said the new centers will be paired with local hospitals and community mental health centers to provide wrap-around services like medical treatment and counseling for those beginning the addiction recovery process.
“Right now, we have people driving two hours or more to get their treatment, before turning around and heading to work for the day,” said Kirchhofer, chair of the House Committee on Public Health. “With these new treatment programs, our hope is individuals, particularly in underserved areas, will be no more than an hour away from a treatment facility. Putting these resources and support systems in more communities and closer to the ones who need it should increase the chances for Hoosiers to complete their recovery program successfully.”
This law also provides provisional credentialing to Hoosier mental health professionals who are qualified to treat those with addiction when they change employers. According to Kirchhofer, this will streamline the hiring process for addiction treatment providers, accelerating the delivery of qualified treatment to those who need it.
Employers will also have the flexibility to allow qualified employees to begin work while completing a substance abuse treatment program, if that individual could not pass a drug screening.
House Enrolled Act 1007 goes into effect July 1.
State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,
which includes portions of Marion County.
PICTURED: Gov. Eric Holcomb signs State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer’s (R-Beech Grove) legislation into law at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis on Friday, April 6, 2018. This new law adds nine new opioid treatment programs across Indiana. Pictured left to right, seated: State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem), State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), Holcomb and Kirchhofer. Standing: State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) (second from left, back row) and State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) (third from the left, middle row) with health care professionals from Franciscan Health of Central Indiana.