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New law: Jennifer Act Passes in Indiana
Involuntary Treatment Provision Still to Come

The Jennifer Act previously known as HB 1448 passed in April and became effective in the state of Indiana on July 1, 2015.  Indiana Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, a member of the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, introduced the bill for its passage in the 2015 legislative session.
This new law was initiated by Sharon Blair in memory of her daughter Jennifer Reynolds who died in 2009 at the age of 29 from a prescription overdose.   
House Bill 1448, The Jennifer Act, provides Medicaid coverage for inpatient, addiction-related hospital services and will allow physicians to use Medicaid to offer treatment services, including Methadone.   
The law also provides inpatient substance abuse and detoxification services and education programs for judges, public defenders and lawmakers.  While Medicaid currently covers in-patient detoxification, it is done by rule rather than state law. The Jennifer Act will guarantee that Indiana Medicaid will continue to cover these services.
Sharon’s 2015 “victory” is a stepping stone to her ultimate goal of reworking the state’s involuntary commitment law.  An involuntary treatment act, such as Casey’s Law in KY, remains unavailable in Indiana.

News You Need to Know, Greater Louisville Inc., Kent's Column: Time To Wipe the Record Clean
It’s time to ask ourselves how fair, efficient and just is it to brand non-violent criminals for life? Is it fair to deny job-ready adults employment and housing opportunities for life and to say that even petty crimes carry a life sentence? more

Number of drug-dependent babies in Kentucky skyrockets
Doctors say a rise in heroin use among pregnant mothers in Kentucky is causing the number of hospitalizations for drug-dependent newborns to skyrocket. more

The debate over addiction: Disease or hard-to-break habit?

Currently, 23.5 millions of Americans suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. Other people suffer from addictions like gambling and gaming. For the past couple of years, addiction has been viewed as a type of disease. In fact, Dr. Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said, “Addiction is a disease—a treatable disease—and it needs to be understood.” more

The Science of Addiction
What is addiction? Why are some people predisposed to it and what happens in the brain when addiction takes hold? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie break it all down for you and ponder the addiction-shattered brain. more

4 arrested on charges linked to Indiana HIV outbreak
Four people accused of distributing a painkiller linked to the largest HIV outbreak in Indiana history have been arrested, and more arrests are expected, according to local and federal authorities. more

Official: Cannabis use impairs driving as much as alcohol says first of its kind study while drug's legality continues to spread
A first-of-its-kind study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has determined that smoking marijuana can, in fact, adversely affect driving ability. more

Louisville's needle exchange program off to a good start
Dozens of people visited Louisville's new syringe exchange program during its first week of operation. more

Ky. lawmaker believes Louisville's needle exchange program may be illegal
A Kentucky lawmaker wants to make sure Louisville's new needle exchange program is legal. more

Massachusetts Launches Plan To Counter Heroin Epidemic
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker unveiled a $27 million plan on Monday to increase the state's capacity to treat drug addicts and reduce the stigma around addiction, as the United States battles a surge in heroin and opioid use. more

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