Indiana Legislation Coping with Drug Addiction on Campuses

A college kid struggling with addiction

College is a very exciting time for students and their families. Going to college is a privilege that more and more Americans are able to attend. For many students it is the first time they are out on their own experiencing the world. The training wheels have come completely off and it is up to them to steer. University and college life are completely different than home life. It is ripe with challenging tasks and equally difficult distractions. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol are now so prevalent that it almost considered a rite of passage. Students see this experience as part of college, but it is not. The rise in substance abuse has trickled down into the college/university setting. There has been a rise in alcohol and drug addiction that stem from the experimentation in college. Indiana legislation is currently coping with the drug addiction on their own campuses. The rising prescription drug use and heroin addiction problem in much of the mid-west (as well as Meth abuse) has spilled over into the very institutions that prepare young adults for their careers.

The Need for Federal Legislation

A member of the Indianapolis high school for recovering addicts believes that federal legislation is a critical part of their fight against the rise of prescription drug and heroin addiction. An adolescent services chief has described the class of opiates to be the worst drug abuse and addiction case she had ever seen. Authorities have called the rising heroin/opiate/prescription drug problem a real public health crisis. A hearing was held with congress to discuss what federal legislation could do to reverse some of the effects of opiate addictions and prevent the spread of the problem. The meeting was held at the very same time southeastern Indiana was dealing with the outbreak of HIV epidemic. The abuse of inject-able opiate based pain killer, Opana, has caused a major problem with dirty needle sharing. There were over 80 new cases of HIV diagnosed in a single month. Opioid drugs are devastating counties across this country. The Health and Human Services Secretary Slvia Burwell is promoting an initiative that stresses over-prescribing practices, the use of overdose preventing drugs Naloxone, and expanding treatment programs. Professionals across the state are speaking with Congress and other representatives of the nation about ways to stop the rising opiate addiction. One effort being put forth is to stop doctors from over-prescribing pain medication.

Drug Overdoses

Drug overdoses are cases when an individual takes too much of a drug to the point where the body cannot metabolize or handle. In the case of opioids, the body functions are almost completely shut down; an individual simply stops breathing. Fatal overdoses have been on the incline for the last several years and now outnumber the deaths from car accidents. The CDC has reported that heroin-related drug-poisoning deaths have quadrupled between 2000-2013. In the last ten years 145,000 deaths were caused by opioids.

Hoosiers

The rise in prescription drug, opiate, or heroin related deaths has not excluded the University of Indiana. In the last five years the number of University of Indiana Students receiving treatment for opiate dependence has risen by nine percent. More than 500 students have attended Hope Academy since 2006. The school is funded by the Mayor’s office for students suffering from addiction. Since prescription drug use can be introduced to children at a young age they are even more susceptible to addiction. Many kids are prescribed Oxycontin for a sports injury and develop opiate dependencies here. When the prescription runs out they need a substitute and in comes heroin. In many place in Michigan, for example, heroin is cheaper than marijuana. By the time students enter college they are teetering on a dependency issue. Now that they no longer have their parents breathing down their necks it develops into a full-fledged heroin addiction and eventual overdose. The University of Indiana is currently dealing with these issues, as well as, the influx of heroin to campus areas as dealers have found a new revenue source.

Newsletter

WRITE DOWN YOUR EMAIL

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter.