State using $3 million to launch addiction recovery networks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The State of Indiana announced a $3 million effort to help Hoosiers fighting addiction Tuesday.

The money comes as the state battles an opioid epidemic.

Walter Justus was just 25 when he died in June. People knew him as “Guy.”

Guy’s parents tried everything they could, and he had made progress, however, Janie Justus’ son lost his battle with drug addiction.

“His last relapse took him home,” Justus said.

She’s now on a mission to stop addiction deaths.

“We need more psychotherapy out there and we need more resources to treat addiction,” Justus said. “I believe a lot of dual-diagnosis just isn’t treated. So, that’s what keeps me alive for Guy. Talking about it helps.”

Tuesday at an event at Community Hospital East, the state announced that the $3 million will launch up to six addiction recovery networks statewide over the next two years.

“It’s often very difficult for people to know where to go, who to turn to. This is going to make it a lot easier,” Jim McClelland said.

McClelland is the Indiana Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement.

“Governor Eric J. Holcomb has called for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to combat the drug crisis, and communities all across Indiana have stepped forward,” McClelland said. “We appreciate the Indiana General Assembly’s work to help more people enter recovery through comprehensive addiction recovery networks that will meet people with substance use disorders where they are, assess their needs and connect them to the full continuum of evidence-based care.”

“(A) comprehensive approach to the problems they’re having from addiction,” State Senator Jim Merritt, a Republican from Indianapolis said. “We’re talking about opioids, but we’re also talking about alcohol. All different sorts of traps in life.”

Merritt authored Senate Enrolled Act 33, which created the addiction recovery networks. Merritt’s laws passed the Indiana General Assembly with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Holcomb earlier this year.

The first three locations announced Tuesday are:

  • Northern Indiana: Regional Health Systems, Merrillville
  • Central Indiana: The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County/Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis
  • Southern Indiana: Community Mental Health Center, Lawrenceburg

“We’ll make sure you get connected to the right provider,” George Hurd, Vice President of Behavioral Health for Community Health Network said. “We’ll have agreements that the provider will accept you. We’ll have agreements that once you step down from that provider, you’ve done enough treatment there and you feel like ‘I can now do outpatient care,’ that there will be an opening for you.”

“That’s a great start,” Justus said. “Keep it coming,”

She doesn’t want any other families to be devastated by addiction.

“I can’t save my son, but by golly, my husband and I, we’re going to put all of our energy to save somebody else’s son or daughter,” Justus said.

Here is useful information on help and support from Indiana’s overdose lifeline.

Get help now

  • Here is information from Indiana’s Next Level Recovery program.
  • Call 211 for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or click here to connect with help.
  • Call the Indiana Addiction Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit here to live chat with a representative.
  • Through a partnership between Indiana 211 and OpenBeds, people seeking treatment for substance use disorder can be immediately connected with available inpatient or residential treatment services.

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Author: David Williams


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