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Survey: Nearly two in three Indiana residents know someone battling addiction

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A new survey shows some sobering statistics about the opioid crisis in Indiana.

Indiana University’s “Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative” surveyed 603 hoosiers. The survey was created, “to asses attitudes toward substance abuse, specifically as it relates to the opioid crisis and policies designed to address it.”

It found the following:

·        Nearly two out of three Indiana residents, 63 percent, know someone suffering from addiction.

·        At least nine out of 10 residents, or 94 percent, are aware that the opioid crisis is unfolding in the state.

·        Seventy-nine percent said, “We are not doing enough as a nation to solve the problem.”

·        More than 70 percent of respondents are somewhat or very sympathetic to those suffering from substance addiction. Eighty-two percent of people said, “No one wants to be an addict.”

·        Half of Indiana residents think opioids are the substance with the most negative impact on the state. Twenty-eight percent think amphetamines are the pressing concern.

·        Nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, of Hoosiers believe doctors and medical professionals are critical to addressing the opioid crisis.

·        Seventy-seven percent of people surveyed agree that first responders in Indiana should be equipped with naloxone. Naloxone reverses overdoses.

·        Fifty-four percent of respondents indicated support for needle exchange programs. This program provides users with free, clean needles.

John Horsley, director of addiction services at OAKLAWN, said there are a number of ways addiction can affect family members and friends.

“A lot of times, when you’re in a substance use disorder, you do things that aren’t great,” said Horsley. “They lie to their family and friends a lot, they cover up. It’s a very difficult thing for family and friends because on the other hand, it’s not just about being mad, it’s about being sad. These folks worry everyday of their life, ‘Is this the day they’re going to overdose?’”

Horsley said there may be an increase in support because there are more public media campaigns spreading awareness about the crisis.

“It’s just getting out awareness that, ‘Hey this is a dangerous thing. Be careful and there is hope for recovery,’” said Horsley. “So if there’s people in your life, there’s ways to get them the help they need.”

Click here to find out more about resource in Michiana that can help people battling addiction.

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