drug overdose

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana lawmakers want to create a new crime to dramatically increase penalties for drug dealers if the buyer overdoses and dies.

Under current law, if you give a friend a small amount of Adderall or Ritalin and they overdose and die, you could get up to two and a half years in prison. If proposed legislation passes, you could get up to 40 years.

Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council executive director David Powell says the bill sends a message to drug dealers, even if it will rarely be used.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County is one of four in the state selected to start a data-collecting pilot program on drug overdose deaths.

The Tippecanoe County Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team would report to the state health department who is dying from drug overdoses, circumstances surrounding each death and any commonalities between cases.

Deputy Prosecutor Jason Biss says the team’s job is to examine each overdose beyond the autopsy.

The Indiana State Department of Health has awarded $127,000 in naloxone kits to rural Indiana counties. The opioid overdose reversal medication is going to the counties with high numbers of emergency room overdose visits.

Thirty-four rural counties will receive nearly 3,400 naloxone kits, to be distributed to first responders. The federal grant money is part of a larger $3.2 million gift the state received last year.

Indiana Health Ranking Improves, Still Falls Short

Dec 21, 2017

The United Health Foundation’s annual state rankings are out. Indiana was ranked 38th in the country, up one spot from last year.

The analysis provides a benchmark for states and in Indiana does see improvements like drops in smoking rates and childhood poverty. Low health provider access continues to be an issue says Dr. Julia Daftari with United Health Care in Indiana.

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Sarah Fentem

A new study shows some people are still afraid to call 911 when helping an overdose victim, despite an Indiana law that permits friends and bystanders to administer the overdose antidote naloxone.

More than a quarter of people surveyed by two researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said they didn’t call 911 at the scene of an overdose for fear of arrest.

ADAPT Pharma / narcan.com

The overdose reversal drug naloxone is in high demand across Indiana. But the state is now seeing more mixes of opioids causing overdoses. That’s leading first responders to go through their supplies more quickly.

Overdoses caused by multiple types of opioids require larger or repeated doses of naloxone.

Justin Phillips founded the group Overdose Lifeline and says first responders may have to administer as many as a dozen doses of naloxone to combat one overdose caused by a mix of drugs.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski has been among the chorus of voices saying his city can’t, as the saying goes, “arrest its way out of a drug problem.”

But now that the Indiana General Assembly has made Tippecanoe County a pilot site for a new opioid treatment program, will the mayor be more bullish on that as a solution than he has been on the idea of a needle exchange? We put that question to him this week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

Frank Wegloski/Indiana Fire Trucks

Our guest on WBAA's Wake-Up Call is Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service Director Darrell Clase.

We asked him for an update on the  trends local emergency responders are seeing in terms of drug overdose calls resulting from the ongoing drug abuse problem that's permeated the nation.

For starters, he says, to-date this year, the number of calls to treat patients who've overdosed on heroin has more than doubled from last year.

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Eugene Peretz/Flickr

A new study from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis has found that restricting opioid prescriptions may have an unintended side effect: more overdose deaths involving heroin and fentanyl. The study also shows that Indiana’s reports don’t reflect the actual number of overdose deaths in which opioid drugs are present.

Elad Rahmin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eladrahmin/

Deaths from drug overdoses have continued to increase in Indiana, mirroring national trends reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

According to the CDC report, the national drug-related death rate has increased more than two and a half times since 1999.

In that same time period, state health department numbers show the number of drug overdose deaths in Indiana has gone up 570 percent. In 2015, 1,236 people died from drug-related OD's.

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