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STATEHOUSE – Friday, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch spoke at the Agriculture Industry and Rural Community Opioid Addiction Symposium at the Boone County Fairgrounds hosted by AgrIInstitute where she highlighted the importance of helping those suffering from addiction, and how we need to work together to attack the opioid epidemic in our state.

Crouch highlighted the fourth pillar of Gov. Eric Holcomb and her Next Level Agenda – Attacking the Drug Epidemic. As Indiana faces an addiction crisis, particularly in Indiana’s rural communities, the symposium gathered state and national leaders to discuss solutions to fight this epidemic. One aspect of the agenda outlines the need to expand recovery options, making it easier for Hoosiers to locate and access treatment, which will be addressed legislatively during the 2018 session.

“Thank you to Hoosier mental health providers, healthcare professionals, first responders, recovery and rehab providers and partners in education, local government and law enforcement for your work on the ground floor during this crisis in our state,” Crouch said. “Together, we are committed to attacking this problem of substance abuse on all fronts: prevention, treatment and enforcement.”

Crouch said that one in five Hoosiers faces some kind of addiction or mental illness, and we must work together to not only ensure those who are suffering from addiction are getting the help and treatment they need, but individuals who are manufacturing and distributing lethal doses of opioids are held responsible for their harmful actions.

The symposium hosted a variety of speakers, including Indiana Drug Czar Jim McClelland and USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett.

Crouch said that rural communities are the backbone of Indiana’s economy and when they are shocked by a crisis, like the opioid epidemic, that impacts not only the economy, but the overall health of the entire population.

“This enemy has visited too many Indiana homes and communities and knows no demographic bounds. It touches everyone in every age and socioeconomic group.” Crouch said. “This is an area where everyone can help, by making themselves knowledgeable on the scope of the problem, and together we can fight this terrible affliction.”

To read more on the Next Level Recovery initiative, visit in.gov/recovery.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch