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The Best Drug Treatment Strategy? All of Them.

Indiana's drug czar, Jim McClelland, says programs from peer counseling to methadone offer help to some

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana is taking an all-of-the-above approach to helping people break opioid addictions.

Drug czar Jim McClelland praises programs like one at Indy's Eskenazi Hospital, which has a drug treatment counselor meet with overdose patients before they're released. The state is trying to take that strategy a step further with peer counselors, who have been through recovery themselves and can offer the voice of experience to addicts still struggling.

McClelland says the "right" strategy will vary from person to person. He says some addicts do better with 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, while others respond to drugs like methadone. 

But McClelland says what almost never works is trying to kick the habit without some form of treatment -- and almost everyone who does go through treatment will relapse at some point. He says instead of those people being looked down upon as weak, they should be viewed no differently from someone taking medication for high blood pressure. 

The state has announced five new treatment programs and created six mobile treatment teams, but McClelland says Indiana is still "woefully short" of treatment capacity.

Governor Holcomb appointed the former Goodwill Industries CEO Indiana's first drug czar in January.

Indiana drug czar Jim McClelland (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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