New data from the IU Public Policy Institute’s Center for Health and Justice Research shows a drop in the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Marion County. Despite the decline, opioids were still present in 78 percent of the county’s 361 overdose deaths in 2018. That same year, the number involving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, was found in 54 percent of the deaths.
There are other concerning trends as well. Both methamphetamines and cocaine are being found in overdose victims at higher rates than in previous years.
These numbers come from a unique analysis done by PPI’s CHJR research team. It’s an analysis that takes into account both coroners’ reports as well as police reports to reveal a realistic picture of what’s happening.
That analysis is currently headed up by Philip Huynh, a PPI project analyst. In 2016, Huynh sat in an office in Fort Wayne combing through police and coroner reports. He was an intern with the Allen County Health Department at the time, helping them get a better handle on what people were dying from so they could address the problem.