The Opioid Epidemic in Indiana and Marion County
In 2016, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation released a report showing that Indiana was among the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis. In 2014, more than 1,100 Hoosiers died from drug poisoning— more than the number of fatalities from car accidents. Two years later, Indiana has taken important steps to address the epidemic, but our state has not yet turned the corner. In 2017, preliminary data show that more than 1,700 Hoosiers died from a drug overdose, an all-time high and a 75 percent increase since 2011. And in Marion County, 355 people died from a drug overdose last year, according to preliminary data. The vast majority of these fatalities can be attributed to opioids. In fact, in Marion County, detailed toxicology data indicate that opioids were responsible for 81 percent of overdose deaths. The rising number of drug-related fatalities in Indiana is driven by an evolution in the opioid crisis that has been observed in states across the country.