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Domestic violence, substance abuse reports increasing in Indiana

Substance abuse and domestic violence have both increased in Indiana in recent weeks.

The state dispensed its highest monthly amount of the opioid antidote naloxone in April with 1,306 uses.

“We’ve never seen naloxone distribution like this before,” said Jennifer Sullivan, secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration. Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan among others, is given when a person shows signs of an opioid overdose. It blocks the toxic effects of the overdose.

During a coronavirus news conference Wednesday, Sullivan said there was another statistic that jumped out at her.

“Almost 1.5% of all EMS runs year-to-date now involve the deployment of naloxone, which is up from less than one percent in 2019,” Sullivan said. “We know that naloxone is often the only tool that provides individuals with opiate use disorder another chance at recovery. We have not forgotten about these Hoosiers.”

You can check for where you can get naloxone by going to optin.in.gov.

The state will use $1 million in federal money to pay for the distribution of naloxone to first responders, families, friends, and others who are likely to be there for someone who overdoses. The money is a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

During the first few weeks of May, there have been 57 domestic violence calls, 14 suicide or homicide calls, and there have been 732 referrals made to mental health providers across Indiana.

“People have always called us for help with basic needs like food and rent, but now they call us sobbing. We have always received calls from individuals impacted by domestic violence, but now we are talking to people while they are hiding in the bathroom with the abuser in the other room,” Sullivan said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you are urged to call the domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233 or text “LOVEIS” to 866-331-9474. You can also call 211 or log on to thehotline.org/help.

There is also a suicide crisis line you can call (800-273-8255) or text “HOME” to 741741. You can also log on to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

“Please keep calling. We are here,” Sullivan said.

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