Tuesday, Governor Mike Pence announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention (Task Force), an effort by his Administration to combat drug abuse in Indiana.
“We’ve created the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention because it is time to take a holistic and collaborative approach to addressing substance abuse and its many heartbreaking repercussions in our state,” said Governor Pence. “Drug abuse problems are not unique to Indiana, and while multiple entities are doing their part to combat drug abuse, we must work together as a state identify gaps that hinder us from preventing drug abuse, treating drug abuse, and effectively enforcing drug laws.”
He said the effort would require collaboration from all levels of government, state leadership, and experts in the field of drug treatment and youth intervention.
“I welcome the input of all of those who will be involved in this critical undertaking,” said Pence. “Together is the best way to reduce, prevent, and treat drug addiction in Indiana.”
The Task Force consists of 21 civic leaders, elected officials, clergy members, and medical professionals from around the state.
Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura, Director of Indiana Department of Child Services and a member of the Task Force, said that the creation of this initiative is critical for the future of Indiana children. “Babies ought to be born without illicit drugs in their system,” she said. “Children deserve to live in homes that are safe and free of drugs being used, sold, bought, or manufactured in the next room.”
The group will meet monthly for the next three months – on September 16th, October 15th, and November 19th. The meetings will take place in the north, south, and central regions and will include testimony from local experts and families impacted by the epidemic.