By ANGELO BAUTISTA
The number of drug overdoses in Indiana is increasing at a more rapid rate than the national average. That’s according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
The report says from May 2016 to May 2017, Indiana saw a 28.6 percent rise in deaths, while the national rate increased by about 17 percent.
There were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2016.
The types of drugs causing overdoses is changing, according to the report. The rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl doubled between 2015 and 2016, from 3.1 to 6.2 per 100,000.
State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Fall Creek) says that mirrors what’s happening in Indiana.
“Naloxone or Narcan can just go so far to save someone in an overdose situation, and fentanyl has taken over as the poison of the day,” Merritt says.
Merritt has introduced several bills to tackle the opioid epidemic and says he anticipates more proposals during the upcoming legislative session.