Indiana governor Mike Pence’s drug task force is in full swing.
The task force met at USI on Thursday.
Vanderburgh county prosecutor Nicholas Hermann says heroin is on the rise in the Tri-State. He thinks some of it could be coming from an unlikely source.
“There’s a lot of stories about people that start abusing prescription drugs, and can’t pay $40 a pill at some point, or don’t have access to those,” Hermann says. “That then turn around to another drug like heroine, and start using it.”
Governor Pence created his drug task force in September to evaluate the growing drug problem in Indiana and the united sates. A major topic of Thursday’s meeting — gateway drugs and eliminating access to drugs. Hermann also spoke on meth abuse. He says even now, it’s still too easy for people to cut corners when buying pseudoephedrine.
“You could come out to a college campus and say, “Hey, I’ll buy you some alcohol if you buy me some pseudoephedrine,”” Hermann says. “”Here’s 40 dollars. Go in and get me a 15 dollar package of pseudoephedrine, you can keep the change.””
According to governor Pence, enforcement and prevention aren’t the only items the task force is charged with. Treatment is also part of the plan. Although members have admitted that this part can be difficult.
Dr. Tim Kelly specializes in internal medicine in Indianapolis. He says drug abusers that commit crimes need to be treated, but should still learn their lesson.
“Intoxication and addiction is never an excuse for criminal behavior,” Kelly says. “And once it is, we’re hosed.”
Enforcement is where Hermann started today. But according to him, that’s not where this task force is going to end.
“Who’s responsibility is it to give them treatment, to slap their hand when they need it, to do these types of things,” Hermann said. “It’s everybody in this room.”
The task force’s next meeting will take place on November 19th. The location will be in central Indiana.