Boone Co. trying to get grip on heroin problem

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- Boone County is trying to get a grip on its heroin problem.

Monday afternoon, police agencies and other first responders held a meeting to discuss strategies designed to loosen the life-and-death grip addiction has on so many lives.

Monday was also the first anniversary of Steered Straight in Boone County – an organization founded to address the growing heroin problem.

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In small rural towns like Thorntown, heroin is no problem to get.

"It's easy for them to get," said Thorntown Marshal Russ Voils. "There's somebody willing to sell in Indianapolis. And they'll bring it back to them."

MORE | Police: Columbus woman overdoses on heroin with kids in car

According to the Boone County Health Department, seven people died of overdoses between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, that number doubled to 14.

First responders are also realizing the told that heroin is taking on them. Whether saving a life or watching someone lose their life, many first responders are beginning to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the job.

Click the map below to explore health department data on drug overdose rates in all 92 Indiana counties:

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