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Pence creates a task force to address the state’s growing drug abuse epidemic

Staff Report TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence announced the creation of a drug task force Tuesday to address the state’s growing epidemic of substance abuse. “We’ve created the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention because it is time to take a holistic and collaborative approach to addressing substance abuse and its […]

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Madison County becomes second to launch needle exchange under new law

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Madison County will launch a needle exchange program to try to stem the spread of Hepatitis C spread through intravenous drug use. State health officials on Tuesday approved the Madison County plan under a law the General Assembly passed just this spring. It’s the first community to use the […]

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New law: Overdose antidote now available widely

By Katie Stancombe TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Justin Phillips is a mother who believes she could’ve saved her son’s life if a heroin antidote had been available to her at the time of his death. “What we really need is for it to be in the hands of normal people – you and I, the other […]

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New law: Jennifer Act meant to help those with addictions

By Katie Stancombe TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A new law called The Jennifer Act aims to bring hope to those who are struggling with addiction by ensuring Medicaid will provide inpatient detoxification and cover some medical treatments such as methadone. Hoosier Sharon Blair pushed for the law – passed in April – in memory of her […]

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Needle exchange bill now law; Pence says it will save lives

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation Tuesday that will make it easier for other counties to launch needle exchange programs to combat diseases passed through intravenous drug use. The law takes effect immediately. It comes after Pence declared an emergency and created a temporary needle exchange program in Scott County, […]

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Guest column: Addiction and the anonymous people

By Michael Leppert Special to TheStatehouseFile.com Fairbanks held its Fourteenth Annual Circle of Hope Dinner recently.  I am pretty connected around town, so I got to attend for the second year in a row. Last year, NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter shared his personal story of addiction and recovery. It was fascinating and motivational. […]

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Lawmakers close to deal to allow more needle exchanges

By Andi TenBarge TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – State lawmakers say they’re close to reaching a deal about a proposal to legalize needle exchange programs in Indiana. Rep. Ed Clere, a key negotiator on the legislation and advocate of needle exchange, said the new proposal could allow programs in counties that are deemed high risk based on […]

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Analysis: Addiction is a societal problem, one that must be tackled

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – There was a time when I looked at addicts as people who made poor choices in their lives and refused to take responsibility for their actions. I had little interest in government-funded programs to serve people I believed had brought their problems on themselves. Today, I believe I had […]

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Report: State prescription tracking system is in ‘crisis’

Agency defends system as secure; lawmakers seek changes By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A state system for tracking prescriptions has been “in crisis” and created a risk of exposing patients’ personal information, according to a state-commissioned report that Gov. Mike Pence’s administration tried to keep under wraps. The system, intended to help the state […]

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Indiana leaders differ on needle exchange legislation

By Alec Gray & Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – State leaders are split on needle exchange legislation with just days until the General Assembly is set to adjourn for the year. Senate President Pro Tem David Long said Thursday he supports the extension of a temporary needle exchange in Scott County – the epicenter of […]

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