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10/10/2017 11:04:00 AM
IU to spend $50 million in addictions crisis initiative, focusing on five areas

Michael Reschke, Herald-Times

Indiana University will spend $50 million to help reduce drug addiction and its negative effects through a new initiative announced Tuesday.

Called "Responding to the Addictions Crisis," the initiative will be a collaboration between IU, IU Health, Eskenazi Health and state officials. It will focus on five areas: data collection and analysis; training and education; policy analysis and development; addictions science; and community and workforce development.

An interdisciplinary team of IU researchers, led by IU School of Nursing Dean Robin Newhouse, will work with community officials to build county-specific databases to better understand the scope of the problem. The team also will research the various genetic, socioeconomic and biological forces that drive addiction in order to better treat it. Findings will be shared with local and state officials to help generate effective policies.

“Through this vitally important initiative, Indiana University will bring to bear its formidable and extensive clinical and research capabilities, large statewide footprint in medicine and health care and powerful community and industry partnerships, to achieve maximum impact toward the goal of more effectively treating patients and implementing preventative substance abuse programs,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a news release.

This is the third project to receive funding under IU's Grand Challenges initiative, which aims to solve some of the world's most pressing problems through an interdisciplinary approach. The first project, the Precision Health Initiative, will consider all the factors that influence a person's health — from environment to genetics to behavior — to provide individualized treatments. The team's goal is to cure at least one cancer and one childhood disease, as well as find ways to prevent one chronic illness and one neurodegenerative disease, by 2020.

Related Links:
• Herald-Times full text
• Responding to the Addiction Crisis: You Tube video

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