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Photograph of downtown Indianapolis.

Source: Photo: Donnie Burgess

STATEWIDE — Overdose deaths are down Indiana, leading to the second highest percentage decrease in the United States.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a near-18-percent decrease in Indiana overdose deaths. Over 107,000 fatal drug overdoses happened in the United States last year, says the CDC. That’s a 3-percent decrease compared to 2022.

For Indiana, 2,190 people died of an overdose last year. The CDC says Indiana is one of four states that reported a year-over-year decline of 15-percent or more.

“Hours after I was sworn in as governor in 2017, I signed an executive order creating a new cabinet-level position in state government dedicated to reversing the trend of overdose deaths,” Governor Eric Holcomb said in a press release, “in the seven years since, Indiana has taken thoughtful steps to address this epidemic. This encouraging trend underscores the collective efforts and strategic initiatives implemented to combat substance use throughout our great state.”

Indiana has made several improvements not just in drug addiction resources, but mental health resources, which can be a significant contributor to drug addictions in the first place.

From the press release: “The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction has expanded residential treatment beds by 385% since 2017, accounting for a total of 2,900 beds statewide, and the total number of outpatient addiction treatment providers has increased by 8%.”

Indiana also provides over 24,000 doses of Narcan each month through the Overdose Lifeline nonprofit. State Attorney General Todd Rokita has also had success securing tens of millions of dollars in opioid settlement cases, which also go towards the funding of recovery centers and addict help teams.