Indiana's growing fight against a debilitating opioid addiction crisis just gained a powerful ally, who will collaborate and attack the problem from a national vantage point.
It's a growing sign of Hoosier authority in high places that can only benefit our state.
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush has been selected to lead a task force of state court officials examining the justice system's role in combating the nation's opioid crisis.
Rush will co-chair the panel with Tennessee court administrator Deborah Taylor.
The task force will begin meeting in November, giving important audience to state and national experts on what is and isn't working in opioid abuse prevention. It's also hoped the task force efforts could bolster partnerships that focus specifically on the impact of opioids on children, foster children and families.
Rush will be helping develop guidance for state courts to promote collaboration among treatment providers, court systems and other important players in fighting this scourge.
We've argued before for a multi-jurisdictional approach to this problem and have lauded Indiana officials for pursuing this strategy.
In an editorial last week, we also reminded our readers that every month 100 Hoosiers are dying from drug overdoses, a lion's share related to opioids, heroin and prescription painkillers.
Indiana has the 17th-highest rate of overdose deaths in our nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but is one of the hardest places to find treatment.
Now a top Hoosier judicial official is helping to spearhead a collaborative fight against what is clearly a state and national epidemic.
The National Center for State Courts is coordinating the work. We can only hope it makes a difference for our state and others.