A new analysis finds the combined rates of drug, alcohol and suicide deaths is higher than predicted. In Indiana there was a 12 percent increase in these fatalities.
The report from Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit policy organization, finds in the category of drug deaths, Indiana’s rate rose 20 percent from 2015-2016. That’s more than 1,500 Hoosiers, a record high.
Chief Strategy Officer Benjamin Miller says the rise in fatalities has deeper, cultural implications.
“Whether it’s pain, whether it’s substance use, whether it’s mental health, you name it we’re actually seeing people losing their lives because of our inability to address this issue,” says Miller.
Miller says the report also outlines evidence-based program solutions, but meaningful change is complex.
“This is not something that transcends a new program or policy, this is literally about us going back and questioning decisions that we’ve made about how we address health in our communities,” says Miller.
The data shows nationally deaths from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, doubled. There was also an increase in minority overdose deaths.