IN Drug Task Force submits final recommendations for state's growing drug problem

IN Drug Task Force submits final recommendations for state's growing drug problem

INDIANA (WFIE) - Following an HIV crisis that rocked portions of southern Indiana, Governor Mike Pence formed a statewide drug task force.

The team, assembled from around the state, just sent down their final recommendations for Indiana's growing drug problem.

The task force was upfront with what's going on, saying the Hoosier state is seeing an "unprecedented crisis" of substance abuse problems.

When you learn the numbers, you'll understand why.

Nearly six times as many Hoosiers died from drug overdoses in 2014, as did in 2000. That's twice the national rate.

If you live in Indiana, you're more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car crash. 13% of Indiana residents reported illicit drug use or taking pills they weren't prescribed.

It's tough to look at the disturbing reality created by broadcasting heroin overdoses, but this is real and it's hitting people everywhere.

After months of meetings around the state, including here in Evansville, the drug task force sent down a 106-page report with 17 recommendations and findings at the end to help curb the drug issues.

The highlights include putting people in jail longer for drug offenses, direct money to building a central station that would dispense the life-saving drug Narcan to all agencies across the state, as well as highlighting youth drug prevention. That's where Evansville's Youth First comes into the picture.

"It is a scary trajectory if a young person starts to engage in substance use even in cigarette smoking at an early age, because the stats bear out that those young people are more likely to become addicted adults or adults with substance use disorders," said Parri Black

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