As the opioid crisis deepens across the country, researchers at Indiana University have released a series of research-driven, potential solutions. The report is part of the university’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative that has been led by Mr. Ross Silverman, professor of health policy and management at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis; Mr. Nicolas Terry, Hall Render professor of law at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law; and Ms. Aila Hoss, visiting assistant professor and IU Grand Challenges Fellow at the McKinney School of Law.
[Photo: Preparing for a press interview, the team discusses their IU Grand Challenges report. From left to right: Mr. Fred Cate, Mr. Ross Silverman, Mr. Nicolas Terry, Ms. Aila Hoss]
The researchers, who traveled to Washington, DC, to present the report to lawmakers, call for broader and more robust harm-reduction strategies, programs to reduce the stigma of substance use disorder, the creation of broader drug take-back programs, and more expansive “wraparound services” such as job training or housing assistance to support those recovering from substance use disorder. Their recommendations offer local, state and federal governments an array of strategies for mitigating the opioid addictions crisis, including:
Based on original research, the report draws insights from interviews with key stakeholders from community agencies, the health care industry, law enforcement, court officials and government leaders, among others.
“It is vital that policymakers put evidence-based harm reduction and treatments at the center of our policy discussion in order to create meaningful progress toward solving this epidemic,” said Mr. Terry. “After extensive research, we believe these recommendations will be most readily implementable and impactful to the communities that adopt them. These are necessary changes. The reality is that some current laws and policies are barriers to the implementation of effective interventions.”
This report comes as part of IU’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, which brings together IU’s world-class faculty, as well as its business, nonprofit and government partners to create a comprehensive plan to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of addiction on Hoosier communities, and improve health and economic outcomes.
As part of IU’s Grand Challenges program, this collaborative, statewide initiative is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-led response to the opioid addictions crisis.