Bartholomew County sees surge in overdose deaths


BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Indiana – Bartholomew County officials see recent spike in overdose deaths.

In the first four months of this year, the Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus Police Department responded to more overdoses and suspected overdoses than in early 2020.

“The public needs to understand that this is not going to go away,” said Chris Lane, deputy head of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.

So far, in 2021, there have been 13 confirmed or suspected overdose deaths in Bartholomew County. 11 of these deaths have occurred in the past 2 months.

“It’s obviously a wake-up call. When someone is involved in this activity, they are truly on the verge of death, ”Lane said.

Investigators say that in the past, users weren’t aware that their drug of choice was mixed with fentanyl, now that’s what some users are looking to buy on the street.

“We’re talking about a whole new level of danger. Fentanyl is several times stronger than the opioid and all other drugs, ”Lane said.

MPs have almost doubled the number of times they administered Narcan compared to last year during the same period.

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress aims to provide people with the help they need.

“We know COVID has caused a surge in overdose deaths across the country and here in Bartholomew County. As the world opens up again, I think people are realizing it’s time to get help, ”said Matthew Neville, COO of Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress.

Since March 1, the organization has distributed 450 doses of Narcan. “We also did Narcan tours in the community, we had guys walking around and distributing them to anyone who might need it,” Neville said.

Advocates and authorities are doing what they can to help stop this deadly trend.

“Recovery is possible and anyone can recover while they are still alive,” Neville said.

Narcan is available for free from the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress Hub at 1531 13e Columbus Street.

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About Rhonda Lee

Rhonda Lee

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