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Sen. Mike Delph Joins Task Force to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic in Indiana
Start Date: 9/14/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/14/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE (September 14, 2012) – State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) has joined the newly formed Indiana Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, a joint effort between the Office of the Attorney General and the Indiana State Department of Health seeking to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Indiana. 

Prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. Nearly one-third (1/3) of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically. Indiana is currently above the national average in almost all abuse trend categories.

“We have an epidemic in Indiana and it’s going to take a concerted effort to combat this problem,” Delph said. “We need to come together on all fronts from law enforcement to the medical community to local and state government to attack this issue. The Task Force is an excellent first step in that direction.”

Delph has been on the front lines of the prescription drug abuse problem. In 2010, he spearheaded legislation strengthening the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (known as INSPECT), which allows healthcare practitioners and law enforcement access to patient prescription drug history reports. 

The law permits the program to notify physicians if a patient is “doctor shopping,”  gives a physician civil immunity to pass along a “good faith” tip to law enforcement regarding a patient’s criminal activity, and allows Medicaid fraud investigators access to INSPECT. The program is one of the cornerstones of the Task Force’s five (5) pronged approach, which includes education, treatment, monitoring (INSPECT), law enforcement and disposal (“take back”). 

Delph also co-sponsored a bill allowing pharmacies to accept unwanted medications and “take back” prescription medications from patients that want to dispose of the drugs. The new “take back” law went into effect July 1, 2011.

“I recognized early on that there’s not a single solution to this problem. We won’t be able to reverse this abuse trend through one law or act,” Delph said. “We need to take a look at every facet of the epidemic and partner with all of the players in this fight to make a difference. Operating independently is no longer an option.”

The Task Force will be charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan to fight Indiana’s rampant prescription abuse problem. The Task Force consists of select state officials; law enforcement; medical, dental, and pharmacy organizations; state and local agencies; and education providers. 

The first meeting of the Indiana Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force is Monday, Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. in Indiana Government Center South, 1st Floor, Conference Room 22.

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Contact Information:
Name: Courtney Heiden, Press Secretary
Phone: (317) 232-9539
Email: cheiden@iga.in.gov
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