According to a new report from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force, opioid prescriptions in Indiana decreased by 35 percent over the past five years, a sign of progress in the state’s efforts to combat addiction.

The opioid epidemic has impacted countless Indiana families, resulting in addiction and drug overdose deaths.

Prescribed opioids can be effective, but are also highly addictive pain relievers. In fact, many become addicted and turn to less expensive and easy to obtain heroin or other illegal drugs.

Through implementing commonsense solutions to mitigate this serious health threat, efforts to slow down the illicit use of opioids are paying off. Working to solve the opioid epidemic in Indiana is critical issue that could save lives, and first responders, lawmakers and organizations like the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse are working tirelessly to create a united front against the opioid epidemic.

By requiring doctors and pharmacists to check Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid, new laws have curbed drug users’ ability to illegally obtain multiple prescriptions. To help stop addiction before it starts, steps have been taken to limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to individuals.

These efforts, combined with stronger punishments for drug dealers and providing more treatment options for Hoosiers, are helping the state tackle this epidemic from all angles.

Still, too many are facing addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling, please connect with Indiana 2-1-1 for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit www.samhsa.gov.

To read the full report from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force, click here.