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April 2019

Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 27, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with many locations throughout the state accepting unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

Click here to find a drop off site near you.

Proper disposal of prescription drugs helps protect children and pets from accidental consumption, and can curb illegal drug use and theft. With 4 out of 5 new heroin users starting with prescription medications, these drug take back programs give us another tool to fight addiction and make a real difference in saving lives.

Unused and expired medicine also harms the environment. It is important to never wash any medicine down the drain or flush it down the toilet. Doing so contaminates Indiana’s rivers and groundwater. By properly disposing of medicine you are protecting yourself, your neighbors and the environment.

During the most recent National Take Back Day event, Hoosiers safely turned in 21,480 pounds of prescription drugs.

Learn about safe disposal and storage methods for prescription drugs by clicking here.

Apply For On My Way Pre-K

Indiana’s early learning pilot program, On My Way Pre-K, is currently accepting applications from eligible families for the upcoming school year.

On My Way Pre-K provides grants to 4-year-olds from low-income families to attend a high-quality pre-K program. Eligible families must live in one of the 20 pilot counties (Allen, Bartholomew, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Grant, Harrison, Howard, Jackson, Kosciusko, Lake, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Vigo counties), and meet the following requirements:

  • Child must be 4 years old by August 2019;
  • Child must be a resident of Indiana;
  • Child must start kindergarten in the 2020–21 school year;
  • Parents/guardians in the household must be working, going to school or attending job training; and
  • Families must have an income below 127% of the federal poverty level.

Once the family has met eligibility requirements and been awarded a grant for their child, they may choose from any of the eligible On My Way Pre-K programs in their county. Families can search for approved providers here.

Giving kids a solid foundation for learning has been shown to help close an achievement gap that is often seen between students who do not attend early learning programs and their peers who do. House Republicans supported legislation creating the On My Way Pre-K pilot program and nearly 8,000 Hoosier children have benefited from the program since its creation in 2015. This session, state lawmakers are working on legislation to take this program statewide.

Grants will be awarded until all the available slots are filled, so be sure to apply early.

Improving the Crossroads of America

Nearly 200 communities across Indiana will receive state matching grants to improve local roads and bridges.

A combined $115 million was awarded to Indiana cities, towns and counties through the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, which is now in its third year. The grants are a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2016, and are awarded by the Indiana Department of Transportation based on applications submitted by local officials.

These funds help communities address their immediate road-funding needs, like road and bridge preservation, road reconstruction and intersection improvements. With construction season kicking into high gear, INDOT and the Indiana State Police are promoting Work Zone Awareness Week, April 8-12.

INDOT offers these tips to keep both motorists and construction workers safe in work zones:

  • Stay alert! Watch for speed limit reductions, narrowing lanes, changing traffic patterns and highway workers.
  • Pay attention. Work zone signs will tell drivers exactly what to expect ahead.
  • Merge early. If drivers merge as soon as they see signs, traffic will flow much more smoothly.
  • Slow down! Don’t speed, there could be slowed or stopped vehicles in the construction zone.
  • Keep your distance. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of the vehicle.
  • Minimize distractions. Don’t text or talk on the phone and avoid taking your hands off the wheel. Driver inattention is a leading cause of all highway crashes.
  • Plan ahead. Expect delays during construction season and allow extra travel time, or select an alternate route.

INDOT provides timely, accurate and relevant work zone information to travelers using the INDOT TrafficWise website, the INDOT Construction Map and Twitter updates. You can also download the INDOT mobile app for free through the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.

We can work together to make sure everyone makes it home safely. Please don’t drive distracted and keep an eye out for our hardworking road construction workers.

Expanding Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a pervasive problem throughout Indiana and the nation. Lawmakers are working to combat this serious disease and offer support to those who are suffering.

To assist Hoosiers in their fight to overcome addiction, legislation would help more people be admitted into inpatient treatment facilities. Under current law, those seeking treatment for addiction must be sober or in withdrawal, which may prevent some from getting help.

Oftentimes, a user may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with asking for help or seeking treatment. This legislation would allow those ready to receive professional help to be admitted to treatment facilities – regardless of their sobriety – to better ensure they have an opportunity to overcome addiction.

Another bill would establish the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Center Grant Program. These grants could help recovery centers with community outreach, treatment and recovery efforts, and facility maintenance. Funds from this program would be administered by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and grants would be evenly distributed across the state.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 2-1-1 or click here to connect with local resources.

To track these bills and others, watch committee meetings and view session live, visit the Indiana General Assembly’s website here.

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