Drug Overdose Prevention Information

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July 9, 2019

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

New organization hopes to lower overdose numbers

In Evansville, a new not-for-profit was recently formed to address drug misuse and increase harm reduction methods for Vanderburgh County. The organization, Evansville Recovery Alliance, hopes to launch a syringe exchange program and offer free naloxone. The nearest counties that provide syringe exchange programs are Monroe, Scott and Clark counties. John Pritchett, leader of the Evansville Recovery Alliance, ultimately wants to reduce stigma surrounding drug use and encourages anyone with opioid use disorder to talk with Evansville Recovery Alliance members.

Overdose Lifeline - medication assisted treatment waiver extension

Overdose Lifeline

Overdose Lifeline just announced the extension of its medication-assisted treatment (MAT) waiver prescriber program through April 2020. The goal of the program is to increase the number of qualified Indiana physicians with MAT training. Healthcare providers can become MAT waiver prescribers at no cost through Overdose Lifeline, a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated addressing substance use disorder. Qualifying healthcare professionals who complete the prescriber course and prescribe MAT to their first patient will be financially reimbursed. More information can be found online.

The U.S. opioid epidemic is driving a spike in infectious diseases

Syringe - Drugs

Public health officials around the United States are sounding the alarm regarding the surge in bacterial and viral infections linked to opioid misuse. This surge includes a rise in HIV and hepatitis, as well a surge in bacteria commonly resistant to antibiotics. Public health officials are also seeing a rise in a bacterium that damages heart valves, a result of injecting drugs without cleaning the skin. The surge is not solely associated with injection drug use as a study published in January showed that people who take a medium or high dose of prescribed opioids for pain management are significantly more susceptible to pneumonia. Researchers are trying to understand and map the outbreaks, but stigma and a lack of real-time data are proving to be a substantial barrier.

Opioids study shows high-risk counties across the country, suggests local solutions

A recent study examined more than 3,000 counties across the United States and found that residents of 412 counties are at least twice as likely to be at high risk for opioid overdose deaths and lack providers who can deliver medication to treat opioid use disorders. Midwestern states, including Indiana, were among the states with the most high risk counties. Counties at high risk were defined as those with an overdose rate above the national average and with a lower than national average rate at providing opioid use disorder medications. The research article suggests that increasing employment and a primary care physician’s capacity for providing medication can help lower opioid overdose deaths.

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Webcast: Prevention Planning and Implementation

July 9, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Prevention experts will show you how to use data-driven decision making to advance prevention outcomes and programs. Find out how organizations collect and use data in assessment, implementation, and evaluation of prevention programs. You'll see how you can use various types and sources of data in your everyday prevention work to ensure positive prevention outcomes. Register for this event here.

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Webcast: Peer Supports in Small Towns and Rural Communities

July 10, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
This webinar will describe peer support programs in micropolitan and rural communities, clarify the roles of peers in each of these programs, as well as the impact peers are having, and highlight the opportunities and challenges of operating peer programs in small towns and rural communities. Register for this event here.

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NIATx Change Leader Academy

July 11, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Location: Indianapolis
This interactive and free one-day face-to-face workshop will address improving coalition work through easy to understand quality improvement processes. Anyone interested in leading change or improvement in their prevention organization is encouraged to apply. More information can be found in this informational flyer. Register for this event here.

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2019 Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair

July 18 - 21, Indiana Convention Center, Halls  J&K
The 34th Black and Minority Health Fair will be happening over a four day span in July, during which more than $2,000 worth of free screenings, health education, special guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, and healthy activities will be available to the public. The goal of the fair is to increase awareness of chronic disease and how to prevent onset. More information can be found here, and an informational flyer can be found here.

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Fourth Annual ECI Drug Prevention Summit

Sept. 19, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location: Anderson
Intersect, Inc., Madison County’s substance abuse prevention agency, and The Children’s Bureau will be hosting the Fourth Annual ECI Drug Prevention Summit later this year. The summit will focus on substance abuse and the different drug challenges within the communities of East Central Indiana. Register for this event here.