The newest weapon against the opioid epidemic in Indiana fits in the palm of a physician’s hand. Doctors and other medical professionals in the state will soon have access to an app that provides guidance on proper prescribing practices for prescription painkillers. The opioid app will contain crucial information that helps health providers better understand the state’s opioid addiction crisis. In addition to outlining safe prescribing practices, the opioid app will offer information on alternative treatments such as acupuncture and massage.
According to an article last month in U.S News, the funds to create Indiana’s opioid app came from a $230,000 grant by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The app will also feature an accompanying podcast. The goal in the creation of this opioid treatment app is to help treatment professionals keep up with training requirements. Currently in development, this app will launch later this year.
The creation of the opioid app is in reaction to Indiana’s growing opioid epidemic. Since 1999, drug overdose deaths in the state have increased by 500 percent. Some experts believe that overprescribing of prescription pain medications by physicians fuels the current opioid epidemic, Additionally, experts also believe the prescription painkiller abuse leads to using drugs such as heroin.
The creation of Indiana’s opioid app is seen as a proactive tool to better help physicians statewide. Indiana State Medical Association President Dr. John P. McGoff stated the following:
“Historically physicians have been part of the problem…We’re trying to be part of the solution by making sure that physicians appropriately prescribe opiates.”
Utilizing New Avenues to Combat Opioid Addiction
In addition to the opioid app, government officials in Indiana have also launched a new website to provide help and information regarding the opioid crisis. Launched by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Next Level Recovery provides information and resources for residents to combat opioid addiction. The website will feature an ever-evolving database containing the following information:
- Data and Facts
- Indiana Initiatives
- Ways to Get Involved
- Information on Opioid Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement
- Resources and Information for Healthcare Professionals and First Responders
- Notices and Meeting Minutes from Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse
Gov. Holcomb made attacking the drug epidemic a top priority his agenda upon taking office last year. In addition to the website, he also created a new position dedicated to tackling the drug crisis. He appointed Jim McClelland as the first executive director of drug prevention, treatment, and enforcement.
Along with the opioid app that is in development, the website is a proactive attempt to give people the resources and knowledge they need regarding the current epidemic. In a press release, Holcomb stated the following:
“The Next Level Recovery website will be the front porch for Hoosiers looking for information and resources on opioid addiction. The website will change and develop over time along with our efforts, and I hope it will become a go-to resource for communities, families, and individuals.”
Holcomb further added that the website will benefit all people:
“Caregivers, nurses, hospitals, folks who are struggling with substance abuse and parents and children..I hope everyone is coming to this and brings folks together.”
Federal Response to America’s Opioid Crisis
The initiatives taken in Indiana echoes those taken by federal agencies nationwide. The American Medical Association has developed a website focused on ending the opioid crisis in America. Called End the Epidemic, the website features education and training resources that are available in each state. Additionally, the site contains a registry where states can register Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP’s). The site also contains recommendations and actions that can be taken to end the stigma surrounding opioid addiction as well as other forms of substance abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created a microsite which can plug into any existing website and offers up-to-date information to healthcare professionals and other agencies. According to the CDC, the microsite is a customizable version of the CDC Opioid Overdose website that can be hosted on any website. The microsite contains current opioid data and a collection of resources and trainings related to the CDC guidelines regarding proper prescribing procedures for those suffering from chronic pain. Once embedded, the microsite will stay current with update information when it becomes available.
Recently, the White House launched two websites that address the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis:
- Opioids.gov was created to educate the public about the causes of opioid addiction and the steps the government will take to fight overprescribing, stopping the flow of illicit opioids and providing easily accessible treatment options.
- The Crisis Next Door (www.crisisnextdoor.org) is a website where anyone can watch stories about opioid addiction submitted by people from across the nation. People who access the site also have the opportunity to upload their own video sharing how you overcame opioid addiction or are helping a loved one who is battling addiction.
The Time is Now
The development of the opioid app, websites and other social media shows the aggressive stance health officials are taking in addressing the ongoing crisis. In 2016, The CDC reports there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, two-thirds were attributed to opioid drugs such as prescription painkillers and heroin. With no signs of decreasing, federal officials and agencies nationwide are pursuing all available options to educate and provide effective treatment options for those struggling with opioid addiction.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, today is the day you must find professional help. B-Hope has helped countless thousands of addicts nationwide break the cycle of addiction once and for all. We offer a wide range substance abuse treatment options that can be tailored to meet your needs. No matter the severity of your addiction, B-Hope features effective treatment programs that are proven to work.
Don’t let opioid addiction affect your life. Call B-Hope today and start your journey towards life-long health and sobriety. Call us right now.