City health officials on Tuesday launched a new public awareness campaign in response to a plague of fatal heroin overdoses.
"Heroin is a thief" aims to underscore the poor odds Hoosiers have against the drug.
"Within the first six months of 2013, the Coroner's Office reports that 49 people died from heroin overdose in Indianapolis," the news release announcing the campaign said. "Two hundred more made visits to the emergency room during that time, according to Indianapolis EMS."
In addition, police report an increase in property crimes linked to feening heroin addicts.
"These numbers represent a disturbing trend, and we need to work together as public safety partners to make sure those who are using heroin know they have options to recover from their addictions," Marion County Coroner Frank P. Lloyd said in the release.
Officials encouraged people touched by addiction to seek help.
"Our personnel see the effects of heroin overdose nearly every day; they are very real," Dr. Charles Miramonti, chief of Indianapolis EMS, said. "People need to realize that they don't have to end up that way. Help is available."
The campaign lists the Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Access Line at 317-630-7791 and the website Wishard-EskenaziHealth.org as good places to start a recovery journey. Helpful information can also be found at the website for Narcotics Anonymous of Indiana
and through the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery