From the Desk: Vice president for research discusses IU's 3 Grand Challenge initiatives

IU's Responding to the Addictions Crisis initiative partnered on a recent initiative to provide training on how to administer naloxone and to distribute doses of the life-saving opioid overdose antidote drug. As part of this initiative, stakeholders were convened to discuss the harmful role of stigma in recovery and what can be done about it. These events were hosted with an array of partners including IU Health, Overdose Lifeline Inc., the Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition, Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana Family and Social Services, and the IU Center for Rural Engagement.

IU is also leading efforts to close the gap between the state's need for medication-assisted addictions treatment and the available number of behavioral health professionals, which has been estimated at 7,000.

The IU School of Social Work at IUPUI is part of the Community Behavior Health Academy -- a partnership led by Community Health Network to increase the number of people entering the workforce with dual licensure as a clinical social worker and a clinical addiction counselor. The first students will enter the program in the fall. Upon graduation, these students will represent a new wave of licensed social workers entering the community to treat thousands of patients. Lessons from the program will be openly shared with interested parties.

As we approach the three-year mark for the launch of IU's Grand Challenges program, we are eager to share with you the impact each initiative is making, across our state and around the nation.

Fred H. Cate is vice president for research, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

More updates on IU's Grand Challenge initiatives