Drug Overdose Prevention Information

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September 24, 2019

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

Employers rethink zero tolerance substance abuse policies in light of new understanding of addiction

The opioid epidemic affects all facets of a community, and the workplace is no exception. Employee wellness, safety and absenteeism are all significant concerns. In the past, many employers would not consider retaining an applicant or employee who failed a drug or alcohol screen. But in this tight labor market and evolved understanding of the nature of addiction, many employers are rethinking the zero tolerance approach to substance abuse and are building in mechanisms to give employees a second chance. Typically, these second chance policies require the employee to take active steps to deal with the underlying issue, which helps increase the chances of long term success.

State strategies to address opioid use disorder among pregnant and postpartum women and infants

pregnant woman

In response to the rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome (up from 2.8 per 1,000 live births to 14.4 since 1999 among Medicaid-insured deliveries), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the collaborative frameworks of 12 states on the forefront of opioid use disorder. These multidisciplinary state teams identified five focus areas: access to and coordination of quality services; provider awareness and training; data monitoring, and evaluation; financing and coverage; and ethical, legal and social considerations. Implementing these strategies to improve health care quality and training providers are important to addressing the opioid crisis. Future work with state teams might focus on increasing surveillance and evaluation, sustaining coverage, and reducing stigma experienced by women and infants.

Promoting positive mental health and addressing substance use disorders in rural schools

School administrators, faculty and support staff face a host of mental health needs among students in K-12 and higher education. In response, SAMHSA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a resource to help states and schools address mental health and substance use disorders. Compiled by the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network, this guide provides resources specific to addressing the unique mental health training and technical assistance needs of schools serving rural and remote communities. Underscoring the purpose of the document was the recognition that schools, communities and families often lack “comprehensive treatment and services for children and youth,” particularly in rural areas.

New SAMHSA publication: The Sequential Intercept Model


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a brochure that provides an overview of the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM). The SIM is a strategic planning tool that helps communities better understand the gaps and resources they have in helping those with substance use disorders or mental illness who are in the criminal justice system. Click here to utilize this tool in your own community.

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Webinar: Suicide and Opioids

September 25, 11:00 a.m. ET
This webinar will discuss how to identify key links between opioids and suicide and how to prevent both by utilizing crisis management and suicide prevention models. Register here.

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PACE Recovery Month Event

September 27, 12:00 p.m. ET
The PACE Recovery Resource Center is hosting a celebration and 5k walk in honor of Recovery Month. See the attached flyer for more information. The event, which will take place in Indianapolis, is free and open to the public.

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6th Annual Celebration of Lives Lost

September 28, 6:00 p.m. ET
This complimentary dinner and program, sponsored by Drug Free Marion County and hosted by the Indianapolis Colts, honors those who have lost their lives to drugs or alcohol.  The evening features a Recognition of Lives Lost ceremony, as the name of each individual being honored is read along with the date of the person's passing. Register here.

Meridian Community Health Speaker Series featuring Sam Quinones

September 30, 11am-1pm
Meridian Health Services is hosting the Meridian Community Health Speaker Series featuring award-winning author, Sam Quinones. Quinones, a journalist and author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, will be speaking at Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University on Monday, September 30, 2019. Complimentary luncheon will be provided by Meridian Health Services. Register here.

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First Responder Resiliency and Peer Support Course

October 21 - October 25
This 40-hour course will allow attendees to learn how to serve as a peer supporter, conduct individual psychological debriefings, and make appropriate referrals for peers and their family members to enhance human resiliency. Audience may include first responders, administrators, police, emergency services personnel, fire fighters, chaplains, probation, parole and dispatchers. Register here

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