Alcohol and Drug Addiction in South Bend
South Bend is a city in St. Joseph County, Indiana that is not immune from the throes of the current addiction epidemic. Since 1999, drug overdose deaths in Indiana have quadrupled.
The Opioid Epidemic in South Bend
In 2015, drug overdose deaths outnumbered fatal auto crashes and murders combined in St. Joseph County, driven mostly like lethal doses of heroin and related opioid painkillers. In 2015, 59 people died of accidental drug overdoses in St. Joseph County. The number of those deaths that involved opiates such as heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone doubled to 47, up from 23 in the previous year. Local officials say these numbers are staggering, but there isn’t the typical public response to these numbers, like there would be if the same number of people were shot and killed.
Although the opioid epidemic has taken lives spanning all demographics, local data from St. Joseph County indicates that white men between the ages of 20 and 54 made up the majority of the opioid overdose deaths and most of those were attributed to prescription drugs and heroin. In 2015, first responders in South Bend used Naloxone to revive 265 people who were suspected of overdosing on Opioids
Treating Addiction in South Bend
In October 2017 Indiana University committed $50 million to fight the opioid epidemic within the state. The donation titled the “Grand Challenge,” aims to prevent and reduce addiction across the state by using resources at IU’s campuses, in partnership with IU Health, Eskenazi Health, and state officials. The challenge will concentrate on education, training, data collection, and analysis, as well as community and workforce development.
Indiana also faces a shortage of professionals who are trained to treat substance use disorders. Indiana ranks 44th among states in the capacity to meet the medication-assisted treatment needs of their population. They also have less than half the number of licensed clinical social workers to meet the state’s demands. Because of this, it generally takes one to three weeks to get a patient into treatment for their addiction. In 2017, a grant by the Fairbanks Foundation in the total of $376,000 began to support Ascend Indiana, a workforce development initiative for clinical social work that will focus on the treatment of substance use disorders. The key step to this initiative is to help meet the statewide for trained addiction specialists.
Indiana state health officials also sent 650 overdose antidote kits to St. Joseph County in late 2017. The kits have been distributed to local organizations that serve those with substance use disorders. In South Bend, kits went to the Center for the Homeless, Life Treatment Centers, Hope Ministries, Jane’s House, Victory Clinical Services, and the Upper Room Recovery Community.
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Find Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one are addicted to drugs and alcohol, it can seem hopeless. Luckily, treatment is possible. Millions of Americans have successfully overcome addiction, and you can be next. If you or a loved one are battling addiction, contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.