IU researchers release recommendations to combat Indiana’s opioid addictions crisis

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Indiana University on 04/26/2018 by Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As the opioid crisis deepens across the country, researchers at Indiana University have released a series of research-driven, potential solutions. Their report is part of the university’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative.

The researchers call for broader and more robust harm-reduction strategies, programs to reduce the stigma of substance use disorder, the creation of broader drug take-back programs, and more expansive “wraparound services” such as job training or housing assistance to support those recovering from substance use disorder. The researchers’ recommendations offer local, state and federal governments an array of strategies for mitigating the opioid addictions crisis, including:

  • Prioritize harm reduction: Communities should increase the availability of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone; encourage the work of syringe exchange programs; and support first responders by investing in safe spaces as a route to treatment.
  • Remove legal impediments that hold up effective responses: improve Indiana’s Good Samaritan and drug paraphernalia laws; better coordinate federal privacy law; and make it easier for those with substance use disorder to receive Medicaid services.
  • Invest in more and better evidence-based treatment services: pay for improved care coordination and wrap-around services such as safe housing; and make resources available to offer counseling, help those re-entering society, and care for children born with neonatal abstinence disease.