Rising heroin use challenges police, hospitals

AP Heroin Across America
In this Monday, May 6, 2013 file photo, a drug addict prepares a needle to inject himself with heroin in front of a church in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A rise in cheap heroin across Indiana is forcing police officers to adapt their approaches and sending more overdose cases to emergency rooms.

The number of heroin cases has risen dramatically since 2007, and police fear the drug’s low cost could fuel the trend.

Emergency medicine chief Marc Estes tells the Journal & Courier that IU Health Arnett Hospital seldom saw heroin overdoses three years ago. Now, it handles one or two a week.

The hospital also sees patients with skin abscesses and skin infections as a result of heroin use.

Authorities trying to curb use of the drug are getting information directly from addicts to help identify trends. And some police departments are equipping officers with a drug used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

 

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