HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. -- While drug overdoses continue to be a problem across the state, the Howard County Coroner says they have seen a significant drop in the number of overdose deaths.
From January 1 to March 31, 2018, the coroner's office investigated five confirmed drug overdose deaths, that's a nearly 66 percent drop from the same time frame last year.
Of those five 2018 deaths, two involved opiate abuse and two were from synthetic cannabinoids.
In 2017, the Howard County Coroner's Office investigated 15 drug overdose deaths in the same time period. Ten of those deaths involved opiate-related drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
“I am very encouraged with the downturn in the overdose deaths this first quarter, especially the opiate-related deaths," said Dr. Steven Seele, Howard County Coroner. "There has been a great progress made in bringing our community together in combating and educating our resident’s about the drug epidemic."
Dr. Seele says be believes the increased use of Narcan in the field by first responders and law enforcement officers has helped save lives and reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses in the county.
“It is my prayer that with the opening ofTurning Point, Howard County Systems of Careand the continued hard work by our first responders and our legal system, Howard County will emerge as a leader and a model community for others to follow and learn from in dealing with this epidemic that has plagued our nation," said Dr. Seele.