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Increase In Accidental Drug Overdoses Raise Concerns

Last updated on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(LAFAYETTE) - An increase in deaths from accidental drug overdoses is raising concerns that substance abuse has reached a crisis level in Tippecanoe County.

The Journal & Courier reports (http://on.jconline.com/1418I6A ) the number of accidental, drug-related deaths has risen each year since 2010. One or two people in the county are currently dying each week from accidental overdoses.

Coroner Donna Avolt says the problem crosses all ages and socioeconomics groups. Many of the cases her office sees involve people who combine street drugs like heroin with prescription medication or those who accidentally take too much of their prescribed medicines.

She's had to seek an additional $30,000 from the Tippecanoe County Council to cover the costs of medical services such as toxicology analysis and autopsies. Indiana law requires both in suspected overdose cases.

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