Bartholomew County sees rise in overdose deaths

The number of drug overdose deaths in Bartholomew County rose last year.

Bartholomew County had 23 drug overdose deaths, up from 17 in 2018, according to Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting. He released the 2019 figures yesterday.

Of the 23 overdose deaths, 14 involved an opiod of some sort, including heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone or other derivatives and of those 8 specifically involved fentanyl and three involved heroin. Stimulants including methamphetamine were part of the cause of death in 13 of the cases last year.

Nolting said that 11 of the overdose deaths involved multiple substances. In those cases it is normally very difficult to determine which drug actually caused the death, unless one in particular has an extremely high level.

The overdose deaths were still down substantially from the recent high in 2017, where there were 30 overdose deaths in the county.

Nolting said he was concerned about other trends in the county, including suicides and infant deaths. We will have more from the coroner’s office tomorrow.