By Indiana Rep. Steve Davisson
This session I plan to help tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our state, including the drug epidemic. Currently, around 100 Hoosiers die every month from a drug overdose. That’s why the drug addiction problem will be at the forefront of my legislative priorities.
In recent years, House Republicans championed various reforms to expand treatment options and services for Hoosiers. As a result of a new law I championed, mobile addiction teams now serve more rural areas of Indiana affected by drug addiction. However, there is still so much more to do as Indiana continues this fight. Many families struggling with this issue often cannot find appropriate treatment in their area because there simply aren’t enough providers. A bill I am authoring this year would establish Medicaid and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0) reimbursement for addiction treatment.
Unfortunately, this epidemic has also effected the workplace. With over 130,800 jobs that need to be filled by 2024, many perspective employees aren’t able to pass their initial drug screening.
I am authoring legislation that would give options to employers and jobseekers facing this dilemma. It would establish a drug addiction workforce recovery program that employers could give as a conditional option of employment to applicants suffering from addiction. For example, a company could hire such an employee with the understanding they must also undergo drug treatment, counseling and testing.
Funding for the program would come from grants and HIP, along with a small portion being withheld from the employee’s paycheck. This would allow these employees to invest in their own recovery. Our hope is that we can simultaneously address our communities’ workforce shortages while putting those struggling with addiction on the path to sobriety and steady employment.
I will continue to combat Indiana’s drug epidemic and push for legislation that helps solve problems that Hoosiers are facing every day. Throughout session, it is important that we stay connected. I will continue to provide updates about legislation as it moves through session.
You can also track bills and watch live committee meetings by visiting iga.in.gov.
I encourage you to contact me with any questions or input at (317) 232-9769 or at [email protected].