Indiana clinics awarded $3.6M to fight opioid abuse

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The federal government is opening up its checkbook and giving Indiana some much needed help in the fight against opioid abuse.

Last week, the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded nearly two dozen Indiana health centers a total of $3.6 million to help increase patient access to both mental health and substance abuse services.

In a release, HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D. said “No corner of our country, from rural areas to urban centers, has escaped the scourge of the opioid crisis. The Trump Administration is taking strong, decisive action to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic. These grants from HRSA go directly to local organizations, which are best situated to address substance abuse and mental health issues in their own communities.”

Each center will receive roughly $175,000. Mike Kolenda, CEO of the Windrose Health Network, says his organization's cut of the funding will go to hiring a new psychiatric nurse practitioner to back up doctors on addressing mental health issues, while also expanding a Vivitrol program to help those suffering from withdrawals.

“This is more than just stopping the use of a substance, you have to change your lifestyle and you have to change the way you look at yourself and look at your life,” he said.

Officials with organizations have stated their cut of the money will go towards various programs like intervention initiatives, rehab services and mental health support programs.

Dee Roudebush, the Executive Director of the Raphael Health Center, says that diversity of treatment approaches backed by federal dollars can helps provide solutions to the devastating opioid problem.

“HRSA is trying to get the money out to all of us so that we can all work together on this issue because  it’s not just a psychological issue it’s a medical issue, there’s a lot of different parts and they need all of us,” she said

For a complete list of health centers that received funding, click here.