A southwest Indiana county is seeing a sharp increase in drug overdose deaths this year.
Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear tells the Evansville Courier & Press that 55 people have died from overdoses so far this year, compared to last year’s overall total of 50 deaths.
The deaths have been attributed to drugs including methamphetamine, heroin and prescription medication.
Lockyear says the victims have ranged in age from 22 to 81. He also says his office is seeing more people die with a combination of drugs in their blood.
Local emergency responders have been carrying naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Vanderburgh County has about 180,000 residents. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates it’s the largest county in southwestern Indiana and the eighth most-populous among the state’s 92 counties.