Opioid overdose deaths continue to take a large toll on the State of Indiana, but U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says steps are being taken at the federal level to combat the problem. “We were able to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and what it does is change prescribing practices so that we reduce the amount of opioids that are out there,” he says. “We work with our doctors and our pharmacists to make sure that we change prescribing practices.”
On top of that, Donnelly says the new law also helps give overdose victims the tools they need to beat addition, “For somebody who finds themselves in this situation and overdoses, that when we help them with that problem, that we don’t simply just give them the anti-overdose drug and, in effect, find ourselves seeing them again the following week, that we actually try to solve the problem, that we have them engaged in meeting with someone, talking with someone to try to end the addiction.”
Donnelly’s comments came in response to the results of a Fairbanks Foundation study released earlier this month. It found that deaths from opioid overdose cost Indiana $1.4 billion in 2014, based on medical bills and lost lifetime earnings.