Steuerwald looks for proactive answer to opioid epidemic

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 10, 2018) — State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) has filed legislation to expand substance abuse treatment options for those charged with a misdemeanor.

Under House Bill 1006, the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council would be authorized to create a pilot program opening state-supported drug treatment programs to individuals who have been charged with a misdemeanor drug offense. Under current law, these state programs, like Recovery Works, are reserved for those who have been charged or convicted of a felony. Currently, there are more than 20,000 participants in the Recovery Works program.

“This is a more proactive approach,” Steuerwald said. “If we can help those who have committed a misdemeanor, or lower offense, get addiction treatment services sooner, maybe we can prevent their slide toward more self-destructive behaviors and dangerous crimes.”

This pilot program would explore whether earlier, targeted interventions by state-supported addiction treatment programs can improve public health and safety, explained Steuerwald.

The bill has been assigned to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee. It is one of several proposals being introduced by House Republicans during the 2018 legislation session to help fight the current opioid epidemic in Indiana.

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State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) represents House District 40,

which includes a portion of Hendricks County.

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