Community battles alarming jump in heroin overdoses

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TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (March 9, 2015) - Recent overdose numbers show heroin continues to be a growing problem in Indiana. The Tippecanoe County Coroner reports seven overdoses in about a week with five cases resulting in death. Lafayette Police have a couple of theories about what could be behind the spike in overdoses.

Police believe the heroin that is circulating is more pure than what they've seen in the past. Officers also said people are mixing heroin with other drugs, even prescriptions like Xanax.

"I think the threshold between getting high overdosing is very small so they may think they're taking the right amount I guess but it's leading to overdoses," said Lt. Brian Gossard with Lafayette Police.

Contributing to heroin epidemic, law enforcement officials say the drug is relatively easy to get and cheaper when compared to prescription medication.

Officials at the federal level are also seeing a more pure form of heroin. The Indianapolis DEA has also noticed evidence of the rising drug use. DEA seizures of heroin are up 600% in Indiana.

"It's the level of purity of the heroin is getting better, the level of addiction rises with that purity," said DEA Special Agent Sean Yauger.