Drug Overdose Prevention Information

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July 3, 2018

Here are your weekly opioid epidemic updates from the Indiana State Department of Health:

Marion County approves syringe services program

Syringe exchange

Marion’s City-County Council has approved the creation of Marion’s County first syringe-exchange program. The program will be run out of a mobile unit by the Marion County Public Health Department. In addition to the syringe exchange, the program will provide a number of support services, including HIV and hepatitis C rapid screening, referral for substance use disorder and mental health treatment, immunization access and more.

New Indiana laws affect physicians in areas such as INSPECT

Several laws passed in the 2018 legislative session will create new requirements for physicians when they take effect July 1. For example, Senate Enrolled Act 221 will require prescribers in various settings to check a patient’s prescription drug history in the INSPECT database each time before prescribing an opioid or benzodiazepine. The Indiana State Medical Association has put together a FAQ about this new law which can be accessed here.

New research bulletin on first responders experiencing trauma


Emergency medical services personnel, firefighters, and police officers are often the first on the scene to aid those experiencing an overdose. Research shows that repeated exposure to such situations, the fast-paced nature of these jobs, and institutional factors can take a toll on first responders' health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has put together a research bulletin that reviews existing literature and provides insight into behavioral health issues experienced by first responders.

Federal House of Representatives passes 25 bills to combat the opioid epidemic

The House has passed 25 bills to combat rising drug-related deaths from opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. The bills that have passed include measures that would provide resources to help hospitals discharge patients after an overdose by giving them the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, as well as connecting them with peer support specialists and treatment centers. The bills will now move to the Senate for further voting and deliberation.

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Register for the Rural Health Opioid Symposium


July 10, 9:00am - 4:00pm
The Indiana Rural Health Association and the AgrIInstitute have collaborated to host 4 Opioid Symposiums throughout the state, with the first one scheduled for July 10 in White County. The agenda for the event can be found here.

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2018 Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair

 July 19-22
The core goal of the Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair is to increase minority awareness of chronic diseases and how to prevent them. The fair also works towards raising public awareness of the health issues that disproportionately affect minorities.

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Webinar: The Opioid Epidemic: Medical Societies' Views and Clinical Realities

July 19, 12:00pm

Webinar participants will hear from Christopher Annis, MD, anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. Dr. Annis will discuss medical and specialty societies’ views and current positions on safe, judicious and responsible opioid prescribing.

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Public Safety + Public Health Opioid Conference

Public Safety + Public Health Opioid Conference

August 14, 8:30am - 3:30pm

Registration is now open! Target audience: Law enforcement, healthcare professionals, local health department professionals, community outreach coordinators, educators, judicial system representatives and coroners