BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. -- There have been three suspected heroin overdoses since Sunday in Bartholomew County, where Sheriff Matthew A. Myers said "bad heroin" is beginning to surface.
Among those suspected overdoses, an unidentified 21-year-old woman died Tuesday.
The recent uptick in the county prompted Sheriff Myers to issue a stern warning and a plea for help.
"Heroin addicts have 2 choices: They die or go to jail unless families and friends get them help NOW," Sheriff Myers wrote in a press release.
Sheriff's deputies have deployed Narcan in the county eight times since April, according to the Sheriff, with seven successful revivals, but Tuesday's was unsuccessful.
“The cause of (Tuesday's) death is presumed to be a drug overdose possibly involving 'bad heroin,'" said Sheriff Myers. “Or, it could be an ultra-potent heroin that is so pure it can kill unsuspecting users instantly.”
When heroin is injected, the user will get a dry mouth, their skin will flush and their pupils will be constricted. These users may nod off suddenly, and breathing will be slowed, which is how an overdose kills.
"If so-called 'bad heroin' or is coming into Bartholomew County, we must know where it is coming from. The Sheriff’s Office wants to know who is bringing heroin into Bartholomew County. Families and friends MUST step up to save the lives of their loved ones. Even if they have already given up on these people, don’t let them die. Find out where they are getting this stuff and call the Sheriff’s Office," Sheriff Myers wrote in a release.
In 2014, Bartholomew County had 12 heroin bookings, and in 2015, the county had 21. This year so far, the county has had seven heroin bookings already.
"Deputies are saving lives. In the past week, they have been dealing with this almost every night," Sheriff Myers said.
He added that Narcan was recently administered to save the life of an inmate who overdosed at the Bartholomew County Jail.
"Heroin is our number 1 priority just as it is for the DEA, FBI, and Indiana State Police. Meth is more predominant but heroin is killing people," Sheriff Myers said.
If you have any information about the heroin issues in Bartholomew County, you're encouraged to call (812) 379-1650.
"This is not the kind of information that we like to release but this must stop now... I commend all deputies and officers who are working these cases and saving lives in Bartholomew County on a daily basis”, he said.
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