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New state funding to go towards new addiction recovery treatment

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Indiana State Senate has unanimously passed a bill to build a comprehensive approach to fighting the opioid epidemic.

Local advocates for the legislation say it’s putting Indiana on the frontlines in fighting for those with addiction.

“People with substance use disorders are kind of marginalized and they don’t have a lot of resources sometimes,” said John Horsley, the vice president of adult and addiction services at Oaklawn in South Bend. But that’s what he hopes this legislation will change.

Senate Bill 33 will add funding for comprehensive addiction recovery centers across the state. Those centers would focus to keep a variety of treatment options under one roof.

“A one-stop place where somebody can give them some kind of screening or assessment and then make sure that all of the treatment options that they would have in the community are known and available to them,” said Horsley.

That includes things like medication treatment, counseling, residential rehab, job training, and more. Horsley says these types of centers would create a road to recovery that’s tailored to each person.

“We’re dealing with life threatening stuff here, so it’s important that they have access to a comprehensive approach moving forward,” he said.

The bill will create funding for a grant program and will add at least three of the centers across the state. Communities will need to apply for certification and grants.

“I expect our community will have a very strong application and proposal when those requests come out,” said Horsley. “We have a lot of really great community collaborations going on that are often very aggressive to get funding to do innovative things like this.”

Horsley feels it’s collaboration that makes St. Joseph County strong in fighting the opioid epidemic, and having a center like this, he says, could just add to the foundation already present in the county.

“We already have very effective and established partnerships so I’m hoping that’s the direction we go,” he said.

The legislation could go into effect on July 1. All applications for grants will go through the Division of Mental Health and Addiction. To view the full bill, click here.

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