Hendricks County sees decrease in opioid overdoses
Hendricks County health officials released good news last week. Deaths from drug overdoses have been decreasing in 2018 and ‘19.
According to a press release from the Hendricks County Health Department, opioids still contribute to more deaths than any other substance. More than half of the deaths were the result of opioid misuse, the report said.
Fatal drug overdoses were increasing around the county in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, there were 25 reported fatal overdoses, 17 of which involved an opioid. In 2019, the number of fatal overdoses dropped to 18, and nine involved opioids.
Hendricks County Health Department distributed 186 naloxone kits from 2016 through 2019 after Aaron’s Law was passed. The law allows Indiana residents to carry naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid.
This drug, with the name brand Narcan, if administered in time can reverse the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose.
The decrease is the result of a combined effort by law enforcement, EMTs, the health department, the Substance Abuse Task Force and the Hendricks County Health Partnerships. These dedicated organizations and individuals deserve our gratitude.
According to data released by the Indiana Health Department and other outlets, from 2006-2012, 92 opioid prescriptions per 100 people were given in Hendricks County. By 2017, it was down to 65 per 100.
These numbers may not prevent the next drug epidemic, but it is important to see how this crisis that has put such a strain on our resources began. From the coroner to the Department of Child Services to foster parent shortage, the epidemic was real and more impactful than the coronavirus from China.
The tide may be turning, but each death is tragic and unnecessary. They represent a real person with a family and friends, not just a statistic.