‘Glee’ star memorialized after death as overdose numbers climb in Indiana

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Thursday night’s episode of “Glee” on Fox 59 memorializes the actor Cory Monteith, who died in July from a heroin overdose.

While the death of Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson, isn’t spelled out, the show allows young viewers to contemplate the loss of a character and actor who played him to a preventable tragedy.

“He was at a party and he was overdosing,” said one girl at IPS 46 after attending a class taught by IMPD Officer Kim Kelsay on the dangers of prescription and heroin abuse.

A recent study revealed that the drug overdose rate in Indiana has quadrupled since 1999, making the state one of the leaders in drug-related fatalities.

Through July of this year, the Marion County Coroner’s Officer recorded 49 heroin deaths, compared to 68 homicides for the entire county by mid-summer.

Metro Drug Task Force detectives have already made 27 heroin arrests this year, compared to 22 during all of 2012, and are on a pace to recover the same amount of heroin as the year before.

Indianapolis EMS crews expect to respond to a record number of drug overdoses this year.

“It’s scary. You can die from your first time doing it,” said one teen.

“You shouldn’t risk your life over heroin,” said a classmate. “It’s bad.”

Jazzmin Brown, 20, who uses a wheelchair, insists it’s not for life.

“I was paralyzed because of a lack of oxygen, lack of blood flow,” she said, struggling to keep a constant train of thought. “It killed the nerves in my spine but I’ll walk again.”

Brown’s arms are partially paralyzed nearly a year after suffering her third heroin overdose.

“One time I overdosed and the people I was with threw me into a bathtub with a bunch of ice.

“This third time I was by myself and I had some heroin and I snorted it and my mom come home just in the nick of time and literally I was 33 minutes without a heartbeat.”

Brown now is a public speaker and recently attended a picnic for recovering addicts, celebrating her first year of sobriety.

This Sunday she will ride on a float sponsored by SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, in a Martinsville fall festival parade.

“I just decided I wanted to tell people about my experiences and hopefully touch people and save them to realize that drugs is not the way to go because you’re going to end up in jails, in institutions or dead…and I’ve proven that fact.”

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