heroin syringes with pills (backpack555/Thinkstock)

Confronting Opioids Through Collaboration

(CARMEL, Ind.) – Leaders of local anti-opioid efforts are emphasizing collaboration across agencies.

An opioid summit in Carmel showcased prevention and treatment programs from around Indiana. The programs share some recurring themes: erasing the stigma associated with addiction and treatment, and getting agencies to work together.

Lawrenceburg says it’s formed cross-agency recovery teams of police, paramedics and treatment specialists to visit overdose victims a day or two later to help coax people into treatment. In Jeffersonville, ambulance services and police have revamped communication systems so everyone is notified simultaneously of overdoses.

In Kokomo, hospitals track and share information on the number and location of overdoses. Jennie Cauthern with the Howard County Health Department says defining the problem through data allows for better decision-making and planning, even down to how many doses of the anti-overdose drug naloxone to keep on hand.

And speakers agree there’s a need for more treatment capacity, especially for people without insurance.

(Photo: backpack555/Thinkstock)

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