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Coroner affirms need for data on overdose deaths in Lake County

The Lake County coroner plans to continue pushing for a drug death analyst to collect a wide swath of data on overdoses.

Coroner Merrilee Frey said she is not deterred by a lack of support from the Lake County Council regarding her need for an analyst, who would be responsible for collecting information on the demographics and circumstances around overdoses to help get a handle on the factors behind the opioid issues in Northwest Indiana.

“I would say we are on pace to have 150 to 200 deaths this year. Next year it will be even higher,” Frey said, adding the national opioid epidemic is expected to get worse in the coming years and the steps toward prevention must be taken. In the first three and a half months of the year, 48 people have died from opioid overdoses in Lake County.

The data analyst is only a part of the Prescription for Action Plan the county approved in March. Frey said she plans to bring the position back to the council in May for reconsideration.

Sheriff John Buncich said the drug epidemic in Lake County is destroying the lives of people and their families and it’s important to put programs in place that can help deter those deaths.

Read the full article from the Source…

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