There were nine suspected or confirmed heroin-related accidental deaths last
year in Porter County.
As of Sunday, there were already eight such deaths in 2013, four of them
this month alone, Coroner Chuck Harris is reporting.
Pending the results of toxicology screens, it won’t be known for some time
with certainty whether heroin did in fact play a role in the eight deaths
but evidence at the respective scenes indicates that it may well have,
Half of the eight victims--four--were Dunelanders, according to Coroner’s
Seven of them were men.
Their average age: 25.
Harris finds the surge in suspected heroin-related deaths somewhat baffling
but believes that there may be either tainted or unusually strong product on
the streets right now. “About the only thing I can think to explain it is
that we’ve got a bad batch out there,” he said. “Because in the last two
weeks it’s been off the charts.”
As a matter of policy the Coroner’s Office does not collect illegal drugs
from a death scene, Harris noted. He did say that police investigators have,
however, “and I’m sure they’re testing them.”
So far this year, there have been three other drug-related deaths: all
involving prescription medications and all ruled to have been suicides.