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New data shows Indiana had second largest decrease in overdose deaths in 2023

A vial of injectable naloxone. Naloxone is also available as a nasal spray to help treat people who are overdosing on opioids.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Gov. Eric Holcomb celebrated the decrease and attributed it to investments in the availability of residential treatment and expanded harm reduction resources to address overdoses throughout the state.

Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of overdose deaths in Indiana decreased from 2022 to 2023.

The state leads a national trend – 2023 is the first annual decrease since 2018. The rate of drug overdose deaths in the country decreased by about 3 percent.

The number of overdose deaths in Indiana decreased by about 18 percent, which was the second largest decrease in the country. It was one of only four states to show a decrease of more than 15 percent — three of which are in the Midwest.

Surrounding states also saw fewer deaths. Overdose deaths in Ohio and Illinois decreased by about 8 percent, and deaths in Michigan decreased by about 3 percent.

Gov. Eric Holcomb highlighted investment and community partnerships in a statement about the decrease. He said the state increased the availability of residential treatment and expanded harm reduction resources to address overdoses throughout the state.

“While we celebrate this progress, it is not lost on us the thousands of Hoosiers who have lost their lives or are currently living with this disease,” Holcomb said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to furthering efforts to prevent substance use, expand access to treatment, and support Hoosiers on their path to recovery.”

READ MORE: Allen County sees 22 percent decline in overdose deaths in 2023

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Nationally, overdose deaths went from approximately 111,000 in 2022 to about 107,500 in 2023. A majority of those deaths involved opioids. The new data estimates about 81,000 deaths in 2023 involved opioids, down from about 84,000 in 2022.

Deaths from synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, decreased, as well as deaths from natural or semi-natural opioids. The number of deaths from cocaine and psychostimulants, such as methamphetamines, increased.

The CDC said the data is provisional and subject to change.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.