Last year, Indiana received a federal grant in excess of $10 million to initiate prevention, treatment and recovery support services for opioid addiction, but was slow to use the money.
Still, the department in charge of that money says the tempered start is setting the state up for long-term recovery.
“The decision we made was to roll this out in a very intentional way,” said Kevin Moore, director of Indiana’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, the agency overseeing the 21st Century Cures Act grant. “We wanted to make sure we were helping to build and support treatment in the long haul and not just get money out the door to get money out the door.”
In April 2017, Indiana received $10.9 million from the federal grant. Through the first year of the two-year grant program, the state used just $2.7 million, about 25 percent of the amount awarded.
According to the state, $1.2 million went to prevention, $1 million went to treatment services and $500,000 went to grant administration.
But according to data compiled by The Associated Press, only 47 people in the state were served by that $2.7 million.
Compared to other states that spent around the same amount of money or that served around the same amount of people, the numbers make Indiana appear to lag behind.
Nebraska, which AP numbers also show served 47 people in the first year of the grant, only spent $411,971. Minnesota was able to serve 2,838 people, spending $2.1 million, more than half a million less than Indiana.