Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Two more heroin deaths in EBR

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BATON ROUGE - The parish coroner announced two more people are dead in Baton Rouge from heroin overdoses, bringing the death toll in the parish to four times what it saw in 2012.

Parish Coroner Beau Clark told News 2 the death toll from heroin in East Baton Rouge stands at 20, with one more likely heroin death waiting on toxicology tests to confirm the drug was the cause. He said in 2012, the parish only saw five heroin deaths.

Clark said he believes heroin has become the drug of choice for many because mandatory sentences for the drug were recently relaxed, and authorities have been cracking down on prescription pill abuse and theft.

Ashley Keown, a recovering heroin addict, said she actually switched to heroin because it becamer harder to find the pills she was originally addicted to.

"You can go anywhere to get it," Keown said. "About every dope dealer is selling heroin... And it's cheap. Pills are harder to get. And I mean a $20 bag compared to $60 for two pills. The heroin is cheaper and lasts longer."

The spike in heroin's popularity also led to an increase in those looking for help. The Baton Rouge Detox Center said they're filled past their capacity as people search for a way to overcome their addictions.

"We actually have over 300 people waiting to get in," said Lisa Bailey, executive director of the detox center, "and 169 of those are heroin addicts."

Keown said from her experience, there's only three ways encounters with heroin end.

"Rehab, jail or death," she said. "Right now a lot is ending in death."



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