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The Devastating Toll of Indiana’s Tobacco and Opioid Use: Fairbanks Reports

The United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. Nearly two million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids in 2014. Prescription opioid abuse has nearly quadrupled nationally since 1999. Today, one in five patients with pain-related diagnoses (excluding cancer) receives a prescription for opioid pain relievers.

Tobacco use remains a concerning and costly challenge to the health, quality of life and economic development of communities across the country. The challenge is particularly acute in Indiana, where the current smoking rate of nearly 23% leaves the state ranked 44th among all states. The same trend holds true for Indianapolis. In 2014, the city’s adult smoking rate was 22%, placing it second-to-last in smoking rates among the 30 largest cities in the United States.

On Thursday, September 8 the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health released reports on how to address these troubling statistics. Provided below are the full reports and the executive summaries.

The Indianapolis Business Journal has also covered the release of the reports with an article on Thursday, September 8, 2016