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Letter: Hoosiers with addictions need support

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Nearly 1 in 12 people in Indiana are living with a substance use disorder, according to the Indiana University website on addictions. This represents a devastating problem for the state: a group of nearly half a million Hoosiers suffering from a disease that has life-changing consequences for them and their families.

As a friend and family member of many at different stages of disease and recovery, addiction affects my life every day. It is an enormous problem for the state that is only growing every year. Too often, our neighbors and loved ones are faced with enormous obstacles as they or the ones they love attempt the long road to recovery.

Indiana House Bill 1153 on mental health and addiction matters, a needed action sponsored by State Rep. Robin Shackleford being considered in the upcoming legislative session, is attempting to protect individuals in this journey by ensuring that healthcare coverage not be cut off or affected by their incarceration status, substance use status or hospitalization status. It also adds requirements for opioid use disorder treatment centers to ensure that they continue to do a good job serving the people who use them, as well as requiring emergency room treatment protocols for overdosing patients, overdose intervention drugs and the treatment of substance use disorders.

It is vital, especially in this difficult time, that we do not strand our fellow Hoosiers with the additional crisis of a loss of healthcare coverage while they and their families deal with this difficult disorder. Please investigate this bill for yourself and, if you are so moved, reach out to State Sen. Phil Boots and State Rep. Tim Brown to voice your support for this vital protection.

Eric Aksu

Crawfordsville

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