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Indiana Casinos Experience High Count Of Opioid Overdoes
Updated July 17, 2017 6:30 AM
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(UNDATED) - Indiana Gaming Commission says there have been 21 overdoses at casinos in the last year-and-a-half. Deputy director Jenny Reske says the commission was alarmed when a single casino, Harrison County's Horseshoe, had a streak of seven overdoses in December and January.

Reske and Indiana drug czar Jim McClelland agree neither Horseshoe nor other casinos have been doing anything wrong. McClelland says the opioid epidemic's tentacles have rapidly spread across Indiana, and a cluster of overdoses could happen at a casino just as easily as anywhere else. And while prescription painkillers have been a big part of the opioid problem, McClelland notes the drugs sold by dealers come with no quality guarantees. Reske says there might have been a bad batch of drugs around that time -- she says all the overdose victims were from Ohio and Kentucky, not Indiana.

And Reske notes the 24-hour presence of gaming enforcement agents and the reporting requirements on casinos mean an overdose can't escape attention the way it might elsewhere.

Reske says the winter streak prompted changes at both the casinos and the commission. Gaming agents now carry doses of the anti-overdose drug Narcan. And Reske says Horseshoe banned those customers and their companions from returning. She says there have been four casino O-D's since January, but none at Horseshoe, and none anywhere since April.

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