My Approved PortraitsNearly $11 million in federal grand funding that U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly helped secure for Indiana to combat the opioid epidemic is connecting Hoosiers with treatment options. In 2016, Donnelly helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which provided nearly $11 million for Indiana in 2017, that is now supporting prevention, treatment, and recovery services across the state.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), the state agency in charge of allocating these federal funds, is now utilizing these federal funds for several projects across the state to help Hoosiers battling substance use disorder. One innovative program, Open Beds, uses a software system to connect both patients who have overdosed with open treatment facilities and social workers with facility job openings.

Project POINT, an Indianapolis-based program, is using the software to connect overdose patients who come to Eskenazi Hospital. In 2017, Project POINT and Eskenazi Hospital were awarded a federal grant, thanks in part to a Donnelly provision in the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to utilize outreach coordinators who can connect people who have received naloxone for an overdose with treatment and other services, helping put them on a path toward recovery from addiction.

Donnelly said, “I am pleased to see that the state is continuing to utilize the federal funds I helped secure to connect Hoosiers battling addiction with treatment and recovery services. I am hopeful this will make a real difference in the fight against opioid abuse and substance use disorders. It will take all of us working together to combat this public health emergency.”

Over the last several years, Donnelly has led the fight in the Senate for increased federal resources to combat the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Last week, Donnelly announced bipartisan legislation that would address the ongoing shortage of professionals needed to provide treatment and recovery services as communities combat the opioid abuse epidemic. The bill would incentivize students to pursue substance use disorder work by providing them with student loan relief up to $250,000 if they work for six years in areas that have high overdose rates or a shortage of treatment providers.

In 2017, Donnelly and Murkowski introduced similar legislation, the Strengthening the Addiction Treatment Workforce Act, to address the lack of substance use disorder treatment provider shortage in rural and underserved communities by making addiction treatment facilities eligible for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) student loan repayment and forgiveness program.

In November 2017, Donnelly’s bipartisan bill to help address veterans’ opioid abuse was signed into law by President Trump.

In 2016, several of Donnelly’s provisions were signed into law, and he successfully advocated and continues to advocate for funding that would expand prevention and treatment programs as part of CARA and the 21st Century Cures Act.

Last month, Donnelly helped pass a bipartisan budget agreement, which allowed for $6 billion over two years   toward programs combating the opioid abuse epidemic. Also in February, Donnelly welcomed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approval of Indiana’s Medicaid waiver extension application. The approval will allow Indiana to enhance HIP 2.0 with up to $80 million in annual federal funding to support efforts to address the opioid crisis.