Rep. Ziemke: Key House committee approves bill to expand addiction treatment options

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 15, 2017) — The House Committee on Public Health today passed legislation co-authored by State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) to broaden mental health and addiction treatment options in Indiana.

According to a recent report, three in 10 new mothers who gave birth at a hospital in Indiana last year tested positive for illegal drugs. House Bill 1006 would include neonatal abstinence syndrome as a factor for determining if a child is in need of services. These children would be able to receive medication-assisted treatment, which uses a combination of medicine and behavioral therapy to treat addiction. In addition, the Family and Social Services Administration would require certified recovery residences in our state to provide housing and assistance to chronic addicts.

“Many communities, including southeast Indiana, have felt the devastating effects of the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic,” Ziemke said. “It’s critical that lawmakers continue to find new ways to combat this growing mental health crisis in our state. By expanding substance abuse and addiction treatment options in Indiana, we can ensure Hoosiers who are addicted to drugs are getting the help they need.”

In Indiana, the Recovery Works program provides mental health and addiction treatment services to those currently in the criminal justice system or at risk of being incarcerated. Since it began in 2015, the program has served over 6,000 Hoosiers, helping connect them with addiction treatment providers. In order to continue decreasing the number of offenders who return to prison, this bill would look to provide these services in the future to individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses. Ziemke said connecting them with Recovery Works services earlier on could prevent more serious offenses from occurring.

House Bill 1006 will now be considered by the full House.

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State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents all of Fayette County, and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.

A high-resolution photo of Ziemke can be downloaded by clicking here.