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Legislators Want More Drug Treatment Centers, but Cost Is a Concern

Long: State may seek assist from private foundations

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana needs more treatment centers to keep up with rising drug addiction. It may need outside help to pay for it.

The House approved Governor Holcomb's request to authorize nine new treatment centers. Senate President Pro Tem David Long says the state badly needs more treatment capacity, but he's uneasy about the cost. He says legislative leaders and the administration have reached out to private foundations about helping to get those centers built.

Holcomb says nine additional centers would put every Hoosier within an hour's drive of one.

The bill is one of seven opioid bills still moving toward passage as the legislature gets ready to begin its second half. A Senate committee will consider a bill Tuesday allowing stiffer penalties against drug dealers if one of their customers dies of an overdose. The Senate has already passed bills requiring  doctors to check a statewide database before prescribing opioids, and ordering coroners to gather and report data on overdose deaths, including the specific drug involved.

House-passed bills would make drug treatment available in jail to people charged with misdemeanors, and make it easier for drug counselors to be licensed. And the Senate has passed bills to allow probation officers to administer anti-overdose drugs like naloxone, and to study whether office-based treatment programs should be licensed.

(Photo: backpack555/Thinkstock)

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