• Intravenous Drug Use – Austin, with a population of 4,200, now has a higher incidence of HIV than “any country in sub-Saharan Africa,” says CDC Director Thomas Frieden. “They’ve had more people infected with HIV through injection drug use than in all of New York City last year.” (USA Today 17 May 2015) According to the CDC, there are approximately 500 chronic IDU’s in Austin, Indiana. November 2014: first 2 cases of HIV reported. End of March 2015: HIV Outbreak declared epidemic. October 2015: more than 180 HIV cases. Detox services are limited and primarily associated with serving jail time. The One Stop Shop (Austin) offers HIP enrollment, vaccines, HIV prevention, treatment, resources, and substance abuse referrals, job counseling/GED/local training. The Needle Exchange Program provides harm reduction benefits and serves as gateway to additional counseling and service referrals.
  • Accessibility – Interstate 65 transects Scott County making it a high traffic area of Indiana susceptible to drug running between Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. Proximity to these two large cities fuels the prescription pain pill trade, with local dealers making runs north and south to pick up the products to sell.
  • Poverty Issues – There is substantial unemployment, high proportion of adults with little or no high school completion, high poverty levels, and limited health care access. The median household income was $43,650 in 2013. From 2009-2013, the percentage of persons below the poverty level was 19%. In 2013 the poverty rate was 17%. Our poverty rate among children under 18 in 2013 was 24.5%. The 2014 unemployment rate was 6.7%. Approximately 7.8% of Scott County children under age 19 were uninsured in 2013. The 2014 Free or Reduced Lunch Rate is 73.7% in one district and 51.6% in the other district. (datacenter.kidscount.org).
  • Teen Birth Rate – Our teen pregnancy rate was 29 per 1,000 females in 2013 to give us a rank of 58. We have 36.2% of mothers who reported smoking during pregnancy which ranks us as 92nd in the State. (http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/1124-teen-birth-rate-per-1000-females-ages-15-19?loc=16&loct=5#ranking/5/any/true/867/any/2455).
  • Education Levels – There were 3,964 children enrolled in the public schools in 2014, with 666 or 16% of Scott County students in Special Education. The 2014 graduation rate was 84.2% in the county, with a State passing rate of 90.3%. The 2014 graduation rate was 87.6% in SCSD 1 and 82.5% in SCSD 2. The 2014 Free or Reduced Lunch rate is at 70.8 for one district and 52.9 for the other district (datacenter.kidscount.org). Between 2009-13, the percentage of persons age 25+ who had high school diplomas or higher was 78.7%. Only 11.5% of adults report a college degree (stats.indiana.edu).
  • Child Abuse/Neglect – The 2013 rate was 53.0 per 1,000 children under age 18. The state average is 14.2 per 1,000. We rank 91st in the State for Child Abuse/Neglect (datacenter.kidscount.org):
  • Disabilities:  We have a higher than average incidence of people with disabilities. According to a December 2014 Report of the SSI Recipients by State and County, 926 Scott County residents were receiving Disability, of those 138 are under age 18, and 673 are aged 18-64. Their payments total $511,000 per year.

The 2014 population was 97.7% white, 1.8% Hispanic/Latino, .4% Black, .6% Asian, .9% two or more races.”  The county has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. Substance abuse pervades our economic and social fabric and we are desperately trying to impact this through our coalition efforts.