Author: Justin Mckibben
The issue facing thousands of addicts all over the country is that they are uninsured, or lack the necessary coverage to get the help they need. There are programs set up to help with financial assistance with many establishments, but still many addicts go without adequate drug addiction treatment options.
Well for drug offenders in Indiana there may be new signs of hope; the state has launched its first statewide program that will pay for the mental health and drug addiction treatment of uninsured drug offenders that are sent to community corrections centers. This is all part of a progressive push gaining in momentum over the months to provide more options and resources to uninsured addicts in the area.
Statistics from the Indiana Department of Correction have made it quite clear that 80% of offenders in prison need drug addiction treatment, and with the way the opiate epidemic has hit the nation that statistic may be modest. Separate reports have found that 16% of inmates across the country have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, so no matter how you look at it, we get the picture; there is a need for effective treatment.
The statement is as true as it gets, ask anyone in active recovery who has face down their own demons; recovery works.
So it only makes sense the new program in Indiana would don the designation Recovery Works. This new initiative aims to keep low-level, non-violent drug offenders out of prison, which has become a popular subject of discussion in recent months. President Obama, along with several other officials and politicians, have expressed a serious concern with overpopulated prison systems industrialized off of the steady stream of non-violent drug offenders who are quite often addicts themselves.
Beginning on November 1 the power was put in the hands of many elements in the justice system, specifically:
- Community corrections managers
- Probation and parole officers
These officials now have the option of referring eligible felons to designated treatment centers instead of jail or prison, turning the tides on the failed War on Drugs toward the new common goal of treating addicts as those in need and not those to blame.
Money Where Your Mouth Is
One big thing we notice here is that the state of Indiana is making moves to put its money where its mouth is and the way the drug addiction treatment conversation is going talking isn’t as cheap, but it is well worth it.
The money for Recovery Works will be pulled from $10 million in state funding for the first year and $20 million for the second year, but the state will need to continue providing funding in order to meet a growing need for drug addiction treatment.
Individuals involved in the program will receive $2,500 in vouchers for various means of assistance including:
- Mental health and addiction assessments
- Transportation to get to and from treatments
There are a few guidelines other than breaking the law with low-level drug offenses. All participants must meet the following requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Have income under 200% of the federal poverty level
- No other form of health insurance
State Representative Linda Lawson co-authored the bill for the Recovery Works program, and she stated:
“We hope this will always be part of our budget, that this would be a priority.”
Kevin Moore, director of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction at the Family Social Services Administration, advocates for the Recovery Works programs, saying they are designed to bridge the gap for offenders in the program who will temporarily receive drug addiction treatment until they can obtain Medicaid coverage or find another form of health insurance. All 25 community health centers throughout the state are expected to eventually link to the program.
Franklin County Sheriff Ken Murphy made a statement about how important this program would be to the community and how the people of Indiana should be made aware of how essential this is for all residents:
“It’s something the public has to wake up and understand. This problem affects everybody.”
While inspiring programs like these are coming to life, there is already a strong recovery community and effective resources available to those in need of treatment. Palm Partners is a drug addiction treatment center emphasizing holistic healing and total transformation, and there are a number of options available to help those who need treatment get it.
There is always hope and sometimes that hope is just a phone call away. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.