Marion County officials announce program to help treat drug addiction


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INDIANAPOLIS– The Marion County Public Health Department announced a new program on Wednesday that aims to treat substance use disorders and reduce overdoses by providing treatment options.

The program is called Stronger with Support. He will work with the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, the Marion County Public Defense Agency, and private legal counsel to provide treatment in lieu of punitive action for those charged with minor drug offenses or who have substance use problems.

The prosecutor’s office will direct applicants to the program. The health department is working to identify partners who will help provide services to participants.

The program is funded by a three-year grant to the health department from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The health department will use $1.36 million each year to create initiatives like this in an ongoing effort to reduce overeating in Marion County.

“Creating alternatives to prison by addressing substance use disorders and impacting other socio-economic issues will allow Stronger with Support to help our community address some of the causes root causes of crime,” said Virginia A. Caine, MD, director and chief medical officer of the Marion. Departmental Public Health Service.

Officials say the program will help participants get treatment for drug addiction while improving public safety in the community.

“The criminal justice system is not equipped to properly deal with public health issues. The Stronger with Support program will allow us to divert residents struggling with substance abuse and addiction from the criminal justice system to the recovery services they need to be successful,” said Marion County Attorney Ryan Mears. “We are proud to partner with the Marion County Public Health Department and the Public Defense Agency to better serve our community through a wide variety of health services.”


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