The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, together with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, hosted a regional opioid training event on October 10. The free training was put on by the National District Attorneys Association and is one of eight NDAA trainings across the country. These types are trainings are crucial for prosecutors as they continue to fight drug use in their communities.
The training, which was attended by prosecutors and law enforcement officers from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, was an opportunity to learn more about the source of addiction and hear what others are doing in their communities to combat the drug issue.
Jay Ruais, from the Addiction Policy Forum, said that the drug epidemic is hard to get a handle on because when states and law enforcement focus on one specific drug, people start abusing a different drug.
“It’s almost like squeezing a balloon,” Ruais said. “You really get a grip on one side of it and the other side pops up.”
Even among Indiana communities, the drugs prosecutors see most often varies from county to county. Some are dealing with methamphetamines or opioids, while in other counties, heroin charges are more prevalent.
Throughout the day-long training, attendees heard about success stories from across the nation, learned about the science behind what causes addiction and talked about different options to combat and prevent drug abuse. Attendees also heard a presentation from Dr. Leslie Ann Hulvershorn from the Indiana University School of Medicine, an expert on psychiatry, specifically child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Hulvershorn and Chase LyDay, a school resource officer from Indianapolis, highlighted the importance of preventing drug abuse among children. When drug abuse begins while the brain is still developing, the abuser is much more like to develop an addiction.
The training was funded by the Addiction Policy Leadership Action Network.