Governor-elect Holcomb to tackle drug problem

Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb lays out his legislative agenda during a press conference at the Statehouse on Jan. 5, 2017. (WISH photo)
Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb lays out his legislative agenda during a press conference at the Statehouse on Jan. 5, 2017. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Governor-elect Eric Holcomb is outlining his legislative agenda for 2017. On Thursday he listed five pillars he says the state needs to focus on. One of them is the growing drug problem.

Details regarding his plan are still limited, but he listed a few things he plans to do in 2017. Holcomb will create a new position in the Governor’s Office to oversee drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. He will enhance limits on prescriptions and refills for controlled substances, enhance penalties for pharmacy robberies, and give local officials the authority to create syringe exchange programs.

“I’m excited that someone is finally paying attention to the epidemic,” said Kenny McRee, president of Ravenswood Hope.

McRee said his daughter is a recovering addict, so he formed the group to help support other addicts and their families.

He and others with Ravenswood Hope say they’re optimistic about Holcomb’s plan.

“The fact that Holcomb is willing to put this out there and acknowledge the problem as what it is and not just brush it under the carpet is huge,” said Patrick Jennings, board member of Ravenswood Hope.

Jennings and McRee said they have questions specifically about the needle exchange program. As they wait to learn more, they say they’re glad state leaders are making this issue a priority.

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