Governor Eric J. Holcomb Thursday announced the state will fund a $1.7 million implementation of statewide Harm Reduction Street Outreach (HRSO) teams to reach Hoosiers at-risk of drug overdose. The initiative is a combined effort of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Health.

Indiana reported a 33% increase in fatal overdoses in 2020, according to provisional data released in July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HRSO teams are comprised of one supervisor and two outreach workers who provide harm reduction strategies and resources such as naloxone and pamphlets to members of the community. Organizations employing HRSO teams must have a connection to the local community, with knowledge of areas where illicit substance use is high. Organizations are also connected to the community through harm reduction, substance use, recovery, or homeless services.

Funds were made available by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Prevention and Treatment Block Grants for COVID-19 relief, received by the FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA).

DMHA requested a proposal from interested candidates including a project narrative and budget. 

Locally, the awardees include The Artistic Recovery; in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. 

All teams will receive harm reduction-specific training organized by DMHA before engaging participants.