Though the numbers on heroin overdoses don’t tell the whole story, they can provide a glimpse of a sickness that continues to spread throughout Louisville, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. There have been 57 suspected overdose deaths this year as of yesterday. At least 41 of them are heroin-related, compared to 15 during the same time last year. That’s an increase of more than 170 percent. “We’ve seen the rise in heroin overdoses increase exponentially especially in … deaths,” said police Lt. Emily McKinley. “Our workload has increased because of these overdose deaths.”
In a single incident Sunday, a man died of an apparent heroin overdose and a woman was taken to an emergency room. Her children had no one to care for them until they were scooped up by Child Protective Services. “It is a disease that’s out there, and it’s affected every race and every economic status,” McKinley said. Detectives identify suspected causes of death based on interviews with witnesses, as well as investigations of the crime scene. The numbers are preliminary and could go up or down based on medical examinations. Emergency Services spokesman Mitchell Burmeister said his department handled 275 overdose calls over a week starting Feb. 9.