Record-setting year for heroin deaths in EBR with 38
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William "Beau" Clark announced a record-setting 38 heroin related deaths this year in the parish.
That beats the previous record of 35 deaths set in 2013. Last year, the death toll decreased to 28, but Clark says heroin is still an epidemic as the numbers rise again.
"In 2014, we visited with the legislature and they increased the sentencing for the distribution of heroin," he said. "So I think the next step is to look at it again, because obviously it slowed things down slightly but it started to have an up-tick again."
Clark says heroin dealers may not kill with a gun or knife, but the drug kills just the same. He credits the success in prescription drug monitoring, but the drawback is addicts are turning to heroin.
"Often time we encounter individuals who have died from heroin and their initial opiate was from a prescription prescribed by a physician. This is a challenge for physicians, cause ultimately we want to take care of the patient the best we know how." he said.
The heroin deaths ranged from people 18 to 62 years old.