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April 05, 2022

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

Columbus Substance Use Recovery Center Considers Providing Fentanyl Test Strips

Bartholomew County

Recovery groups such as Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress (ASAP) in Bartholomew County are looking into a new strategy to save lives: fentanyl test strips. Fentanyl test strips are strips that detect whether fentanyl is present. Just like Narcan and naloxone boxes, which are located at the library and United Way in Bartholomew County, ASAP envisions potentially making free test strips available to the public as another measure to prevent drug overdose deaths. Overdose Lifeline, a not-for-profit in Indianapolis, has been providing fentanyl test strips to the public since mid-August 2021, and anyone can order free test kits online.

Illinois Overdose Action Plan


Illinois is boosting programs, such as the West Side Heroin and Opioid Task Force, to tackle the opioid crisis, which has disproportionately hit communities of color. The task force includes Narcan training and distribution and has taught more than 6,000 people how to use naloxone. The state’s equity-focused plan will expand access to harm-reduction tools, including Narcan, and emphasize programs that address the social issues that lead to addiction, like behavioral health issues and poverty. A big goal that the action plan aims to achieve is reducing the number of Black and Latino Chicagoans dying of heroin and fentanyl overdoses. By ending these racial disparities, a large portion if drug overdose deaths are reduced, and recovery for the state can begin. With Chicago being so close to Indiana, their efforts and strategies impact Hoosiers as well. A healthier Illinois can also mean a healthier Indiana.

Indiana Drug Overdose Dashboard

Drug Overdose Dashboard

Please visit the Indiana Drug Overdose Dashboard, where you will find data from 2017 up to provisional data for 2021. In this dashboard, you will find data regarding opioid prescriptions, hospital discharges, and drug-related deaths.

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Safety & Health Integration in the Enforcement of Laws on Drugs (SHIELD)

9 a.m. – Noon EST, April 7

Police officers have been asked to take on new roles and responsibilities due to overdoses and other emerging challenges. This SHIELD Training Initiative fills this gap, providing law enforcement with the tools they need to safeguard their physical and mental well-being, improve community relations and accomplish their public safety mission more efficiently.

Click here to register.

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The Nexus of Substance Misuse and Mental Health

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 26

This is the first of a 3-part series that focuses on the nexus between substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion efforts. This is a free, online training that has the learning objectives of understanding the complex relationship between mental health disorders and substance misuse, and describing collaboration strategies for substance use prevention professionals and the mental health field to improve public health and community conditions.

Click here to register.

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D.O. McComb & Sons Annual Grief Seminar – Caregiver Day

9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 27

This free in-person seminar explores compassionate grief interventions and self-care techniques that benefit helping professionals and the clients they serve. The goal of this seminar is for attendees to leave feeling confident in their ability to support people who are bereaved even while facing their own losses. This event takes place at Ceruti’s Summit Park – Diamond Room 6601 Innovation Boulevard, Fort Wayne, IN 46818. Registration ends April 20.

Click here to register.