(UNDATED) - EMS Medical Director Dr. Michael Kaufmann at St. Vincent Hospital says hospitals in Indiana and surrounding states has seen a 300 percent increase in heroin overdoses in the past decade.
Indiana is taking the lead by tackling opiate abuse which Kaufmann says is the gateway for heroin, with prescription monitoring programs. But despite the state's strides, police admit limiting heroin abuse and dealing is difficult.
Heartland Intervention founder Scott Watson says part of the problem can be attributed to the strict regulations on prescription drugs, but heroine is readily available, inexpensive and a fast-acting opiate.
Indiana Prevention Resource Center Coordinator Courtney Stewart says when access to a drug is cut off, it seems to create a whack-a-mole affect: drug use in one area decreases while another increases.
Heroin abuse causes people to lose consciousness, stop breathing and their blood pressure and heart rate drop. Kaufmann says for every heroin death he sees there are ten admissions for Heroin abuse.
A study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that people who used pain pills non-medically were 19 times more likely to start using heroin.
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