Community Impact

How CareSource Supports Hoosiers with Substance Use Disorders

September 8th, 2022 | 3 min read

Family hugging in the kitchen

Substance use and substance use disorder (SUD) have been a growing public health concern over the past decade, both nationally and in Indiana. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics indicates there were an estimated 100,306 overdose fatalities in the U.S. during a 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5 percent from the same period in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in these increasing rates, as the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) tells us that from January to December 2020, there was a 41 percent increase in drug overdose deaths compared to the same time period in 2019 in Indiana. Additionally, naloxone, or Narcan, an opioid antagonist designed to reverse an overdose, administrations across the state were 66 percent higher in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

When an overdose occurs, breathing stops. That’s where the FDA approved medication, Narcan, can help. A statewide study of emergency Narcan doses in Massachusetts found that when given the medication, 93 percent of people survived their overdose.

In Indiana, CareSource works with Overdose Lifeline Inc. to provide schools with emergency medication boxes and emergency preparedness training in the event of an opioid emergency and to connect schools to evidence-based prevention programs. Indiana school districts are permitted to stock Narcan as an emergency medication, but few do. It’s essential to have school staff trained in how to recognize and respond to an overdose emergency. Our goal with the three-year grant with Overdose Lifeline Inc. is to increase the number of Indiana schools who have implemented an Opioid Overdose Emergency Preparedness and Response program by 275 schools by targeting 75 schools in the first year and having 250 school staff members attend the training programs.

This training is especially critical in Indiana’s rural communities, where it can take emergency services sometimes as long as 20 minutes to arrive.

Our work doesn’t stop once an overdose has been addressed. CareSource considers the full rehabilitation process and recognizes the importance of a treatment plan.

Good treatment is not only focused on substance use. Rather, a good treatment plan focuses on someone’s mental and physical health as well.

 CareSource recently partnered with Wayspring, a provider of high-touch care coordination and treatment services for those with SUD, to create a SUD Home program, the first of its kind in Indiana.

The program aims to reduce the burdens and barriers on members throughout the full rehabilitation process by supporting care navigation, establishing people with a primary care provider to detect and manage any current or underlying medical conditions, prioritizing the management of high-risk individuals through in-person behavioral health, primary care and addiction medicine services, and utilizing CareSource’s case management team to ensure the development of an individualized care plan and that members receive assistance with social needs crucial to the rehab process, such as transportation, appointment scheduling and housing. A strong combination of care coordination and focusing on a person’s specific social determinants of health is critical to recovery.

Substance use disorders are like all chronic conditions and often require repeated episodes of treatment and ongoing maintenance. While it is a long-term process, recovery from SUD is possible.