Authorities Worried About Alarming Rate of Heroin Overdoses

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Heroin overdoses throughout northwest Indiana have law enforcement officials concerned for the lives of residents.  Heroin use and “fatal” heroin use is increasing at an alarming rate .  Lakeshore News Tonight reporter Renetta Dubose  takes a closer look at the fatal effects of the drug and which groups tend to use it most…..


Renetta Dubose:  This rock looks like a piece of limestone…but it is not.  the small stone is actually a mixture of substances…mostly heroin.  While the drug has been around for years…Porter County Drug Task force Coordinator Bob Taylor says this newer version…mixed with other substances can be fatal.

Bob Taylor: We call it a hot load.  Bomb in a body and then you die.

Taylor says heroin claimed the lives of nine people last year in Porter County.  A heroin overdose Thursday brings the death-count to nine this year already.  The victims are mainly white and between the ages of 20 and 50.  Taylor says teenagers died at alarming rates when the drug first became a problem in 1995, but now the fatal heroin deaths seem to be among an older crowd.

Taylor: I don’t know if it’s younger dealers growing up or older people trying to see what the grandness of it is.

Taylor credits fewer heroin deaths in young people to a campaign in local schools … but he says  overall… the use of heroin and other drugs is on the rise. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration data shows the number of Lake County individuals served for mental health issues or addiction  increased from 326 in 2006 to 401 last year.  Porter County numbers increased from 35 to a whopping 173.

Thomas Thate: If you’re not an  acclimated user it could kill you.

La Porte Police Chief of Detectives Thomas Thate says the city recorded its fifth heroin overdose this week…which puts them on target to match or top the 17 heroin deaths last year.

Thate: His girlfriend found him unconscious on the floor.

Police in La Porte and in Porter County say heroin comes from Chicago.  In fact, Taylor says police arrested a Chicago-area man planning to distribute about 19 grams of heroin.  They found it in his rectum.

Thate: They travel to Chicago on a daily basis or somebody from there brings the drugs here.

Dealers make 240 dollars from a rock of heroin, by chopping it up and selling the drug in small bags for 20 or 40 dollars.  While those individuals face prison time, Taylor says rehabilitation is best.  In Valparaiso…Renetta Dubose, Lakeshore News.

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