Governor's Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana

In the 1980's the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled alcohol and other drug abuse as our nation's number one health problem. In communities throughout Indiana, Hoosiers also became aware that alcohol and other drug issues were not only a national problem but also a local problem. In the 1980's, Hoosiers also grew frustrated with the apparent ineffectiveness of traditional means to solve the growing problems of alcohol and other drugs. The type of cooperation necessary to meet the challenge seemed prohibitive within the existing structures.

Very few Indiana counties had local coordinating bodies which addressed alcohol and other drug issues, and it was apparent that their potential collective impact was restricted by fragmented and isolated programming. Territoriality among professional organizations resulted in a, "let someone else solve the problem" attitude. Even between concerned individuals, inadequate communications resulted in duplication of efforts which left little time for addressing the root problems of alcohol and drug abuse.

In 1989, Governor Bayh initiated a new strategy for accelerating Indiana's fight against alcohol and other drug problems. The strategy was initiated 1st by executive order and later by an act of the Indiana General Assembly, the Governor's Commission for a drug-free Indiana was created on May 9, 1989 and it was charged with leading Indiana's fight against alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Commission's Mission
This Commission's mission was to provide the vision, expertise and leadership to develop comprehensive statewide strategies to address the complex problems associated with alcohol and other drugs within our state.

The Commission's planning has evolved to encompass prevention, intervention, treatment and justice and it enlists the efforts of state and local governments and private citizens to mobilize local, regional and state collaborative efforts toward a drug-free Indiana.

A primary goal is to facilitate the necessary communication, collaboration and coordination on multiple fronts plus to manage state and local level coordination so as to reduce duplication of effort and increase a working together of all agencies whose missions are related to the problems of alcohol and drug abuse.

Commission Objectives
State Level Objectives
At the state level the Commission objectives are:
  1. Addressing the administrative and legislative needs to effectively use resources from all sources
  2. Advising the Governor on strategies and policies needed to improve Indiana's response to the fight against alcohol and other drug abuse through the Commission members, public forums and reports to the Governor
  3. Coordinating the efforts of state agencies through the Inter-agency Council on Drugs.
Local Level Objectives
At the local level, the Commission objectives are:
  1. Working to strengthen local coordinating councils and to assist them in developing comprehensive local plans
  2. Mobilizing communities to wage a comprehensive and coordinated local battle on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs