Drug Overdose Prevention Information

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August 6, 2019

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

New tighter restrictions for opioid prescriptions for feds

Starting this fall, the government’s employee health plan will tighten its rules for covering opioid prescriptions. The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program is the world’s largest job-based health plan, covering an estimated 9 million people, including workers, retirees and family members. Patients dealing with intractable pain from diseases such as cancer will still be able to get opioids, but the new policy is geared to preventing over-prescribing to people who might just need the drugs for a short period of time. Under the new policy, the initial prescription will be for a seven-day supply, instead of up to 30 days. Patients will be able get up to three refills of seven days each. Formal re-authorization that involves consulting a clinical professional will be required every 28 days.

Smoking cessation products will no longer require a prescription


On July 15, State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, issued a standing order effective Aug. 1, allowing Hoosiers to purchase tobacco cessation products without having to obtain a prescription at Indiana pharmacies. This makes Indiana the 12th state to make these products obtainable without a prescription. Indiana ranks in the top 10 of states with the highest smoking rates. About 22 percent of Indiana residents and 13 percent of expectant mothers smoke. Dr. Jennifer Walthall, M.D., MPH, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, also announced Indiana Medicaid will remove co-payments for tobaccos cessation products for pregnant women or members up to one year postpartum. The press release can be accessed here.

Duke Energy Foundation to provide opioid addiction grants to reach 11 Indiana counties

On July 30, Duke Energy Foundation announced $250,000 in grants to tackle the opioid epidemic. The grants will focus on an 11-county region of Vigo, Clay, Gibson, Greene, Hendricks, Knox, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan and Vermillion counties. Ivy Tech Community College will receive $175,000 to educate and prepare specialists in addiction and mental health. Hamilton Center, Inc. will receive $75,000 for a pilot program to help those with opioid use disorder and unemployed or want to continue working while seeking treatment.

Opioid deaths are down, but challenges persist

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report that highlights encouraging news on the opioid addiction front. The United States saw its first decline in overdose deaths in nearly three decades, with a 5.1-percent decrease in overdose deaths in 2018. Federal, state and local efforts to curb opioid addiction, most of which has emphasized treatment and availability of naloxone, are producing the intended results. The CDC states that nearly 60 percent of the decline can be attributed to more cautious prescribing practices and a decrease in prescriptions written. While this is encouraging, officials warn of a new threat on the horizon – fentanyl.

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Fighting Addiction in Indiana through Hope: Faith-Based Trainings

July 10 - August 8
Join Overdose Lifeline, in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health at one of seven free regional, faith-based trainings across the state. These free trainings will help stakeholders build a collaborative network within each region by offering trainings, resources and assistance for faith-based partners. An informational flyer can be found here. Registration for the events can be found here.

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Webcast Series: Recovery Supports for People with OUD using MAT

July 24, 31, and August 7
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
SAMHSA’s invites you to join a three-part learning series focusing on recovery supports for people considering or using medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) or co-occurring disorders. There will be three separate sessions, detailing the neurobiology of OUD, highlighting supports for people using MAT, and exploring the role of peer support workers in engaging and supporting people with OUD. Registration and more information can be found here.

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Webcast Series: The Intersection of Substance Use, Overdose, and Suicide

August 6, 11:00 a.m. ET
This webinar is part two of a two-part series presented in collaboration with the Great Lakes PTTC and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Part two highlights the unique relationship between opioid misuse, opioid use disorder, and suicidality. Presenters will identify action steps for accessing and obtaining state- and community-level data on suicidal behaviors and opioid misuse/overdose, as well as populations most at risk. Register for this event here.

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Marion County Re-Entry Coalition

- Tuesday 8/20 at Café Indy (8902 E. 38th St.)
- Wednesday 8/21 at College Avenue Library (4180 N. College Ave.)
Thursday 8/29 at Southeast Community Services (901 Shelby St.
Tuesday 9/3 at Eagle Branch Library (3905 Moller Road)

All sessions will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

Marion County Re-Entry Coalition will be holding forums across the city for any and all faith-based organizations looking to improve the lives of people affected by the justice system. All faith-based organizations working with the re-entry population are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by emailing info@communitysolutionsinc.net with your name, organization, date of session you wish to attend, and the total number of people attending.