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United Ways of Indiana are leveraging AmeriCorps members in a program to fight the opioid crisis in ten counties throughout the state, of which Porter County is one. Opioids are highly addictive substances derived from opium, which can include morphine, heroin or prescription pain pills.
United Way of Porter County is making this investment because we have seen a rise in opioid abuse and the fatalities and the societal affects from them. Poisonings are now the leading cause of death in Indiana and drug overdoses are 90% of those deaths. From 2015 to 2016, Porter County saw a 45% rise in opioid drug-related deaths and 134% increase of non-fatal opioid overdose visits to the emergency room.
This initiative is aimed to better understand the issues facing addicts and their families, the resources available, and how to engage the community in the solution.
We have been working with community partners, coalitions and stakeholders to gather data, map existing resources and services, identify service gaps and create long-term collaborations to address the crisis.
As part of this work, we've recently developed a partnership with Northwest Indiana Information Sharing & Security Alliance (NIISSA) to continue the United Against Opioid Abuse work on a regional level.
A newly formed regional Opioid Workgroup will focus on finding regional solutions to combat the opioid crisis. This grassroots effort will catalog existing resources, identify service gaps and utilize a disaster response approach to develop solutions with the goal being to reduce overdoses and fill addiction service gaps in Lake, Jasper, Porter, Newton, and LaPorte counties.
For more information and to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 219.464.3583.