In a recent press release, State Senator Randy Head said, “Combating the drug epidemic plaguing our state continues to be a top priority for legislators, as opioid pain reliever-related deaths have increased almost 2,000 percent since 2000.”
To help curb this issue, the General Assembly has implemented a three-pronged approach — prevention, treatment and enforcement.
Some of the new laws supported by Senator Head during the 2018 session with this approach in mind include Senate Enrolled Act 221 which helps prevent opioid abuse by phasing in a requirement for doctors to check INSPECT, the state’s prescription-monitoring service, when prescribing opioids to patients.
House Enrolled Act 1006 expands the availability of treatment for those in the criminal justice system by creating a pilot program that expands Indiana’s existing mental health and addiction-treatment fund to include not only felons, but also individuals charged with misdemeanors.
House Enrolled Act 1007, which Senator Head sponsored, allows for nine additional opioid treatment programs to be opened throughout the state, making it easier for residents to seek the care they need.
House Enrolled Act 1359 allows for an increase in sentencing for a drug dealer if one of their drug sales leads to a fatal overdose.
In addition, Senator Head supported Senate Enrolled Act 139, which requires county coroners to further investigate suspected overdose deaths giving the state more data to use as we fight this crisis.
Click here to watch a brief video explaining our efforts to prevent opioid addiction.