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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

Attorney General > Office Initiatives > Combating Rx Drug Abuse Combating Rx Drug Abuse

50 Americans die each day from prescription drug overdose, and more than six million people suffer from prescription drug abuse disorders in the U.S.  Drug overdoses were blamed for 999 deaths in Indiana in 2012, a 57% increase over the past decade.  Attorney General Greg Zoeller is committed to fighting this epidemic in our state.  Visit www.BitterPill.IN.gov to learn more.

Taking Action

In 2012, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller launched the first and only statewide Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force to help fight rising abuse.  Zoeller co-chairs the Task Force, which is made up of state legislators, law enforcement, health officials, pharmacy representatives, state and local agencies and education providers.  

A priority of the Task Force is to advance legislation to help combat prescription drug misuse and diversion.  In 2013, the Task Force helped to pass legislation requiring the Indiana Medical Licensing Board to write rules on proper opioid prescribing.  Since the emergency rules took effect in December of 2013, Indiana has seen an almost 11% decrease in the amount of opioids being prescribed to patients. 

Several other Task Force accomplishments include its partnership with the Indianapolis Colts to heighten awareness of this epidemic; the launch of its "Train the Trainer" public outreach program; the free online course titled "The Opioid Epidemic and Indiana's Opioid Prescribing Law" ; drug take-back events; and the 85+ outreach seminars/webinars presented to prescribers statewide since the implementation of the opioid prescribing laws. 

To help warn Hoosiers about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, the Attorney General's Office created www.BitterPill.IN.gov, which offers helpful resources, including:

The Fifth Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Symposium

This October, the Attorney General hosted the 5th Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Symposium titled Reversing the Tide of Opioid Abuse.  The workshop brought together nearly 800 health professionals, law enforcement officials, legislators and other stakeholders to share ideas on how to significantly reduce prescription drug abuse.  This year's symposium focused on topics including education, treatment and recovery, prescription drug monitoring, prescription drug disposal and enforcement.

Speaker presentations can be found here.