Indiana, along with multiple other surrounding states, has seen an unsettling increase in opioid addictions and overdoses in the last decade. Although some states have significantly worse statistics than others when it comes to addiction, countless Hoosier families have nevertheless been split apart due to the crisis.
As a result of the epidemic, the traditional family dynamic has shifted across the country. Grandparents -- initially having planned for retirement and beyond -- now must face the bleak reality of taking in grandchildren when their own children are struggling with addiction. Indiana is one of many states attempting to make a change for the better.
Residents in the state continue to battle opioid addiction, and children continue to suffer. Yet as The Times of Northwest Indiana reported in March, Governor Eric Holcomb has introduced four new laws to help combat the opioid crisis and ultimately keep families together. House Enrolled Act 1007 aims to increase the number of opioid treatment programs in the state -- a change that would give residents close access to facilities statewide.
Not only has the governor taken steps to reduce the number of opioid overdoses in the state; The Indiana Youth Institute shared last December that Indiana University donated $50 million to finding solutions to this crisis that has left behind struggling families and broken hearts. Grandparents, as the IYI points out, have become heroes in these situations. With the number of children in Indiana's foster care system on the rise, many grandparents have left behind dreams of retirement to raise their children's children. A 2017 Pew study revealed that the number of grandparents taking in their grandchildren has also increased steadily over recent years. The IYI encourages those in need to reach out to a variety of local programs, which can help grandparents transition into this potentially difficult life chapter.