INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 22, 2015) - Governor Mike Pence announced an ambitious plan to tackle the heroin epidemic in Indiana Wednesday. Heroin is claiming lives everywhere in central Indiana, like that of 25-year-old Ricky Neuman.
“He was a great athlete,” remembers his brother Josh Neuman.
His brother Josh will tell you, Ricky was quite the baseball player.
“He always had that finesse,” said Josh.
But Ricky returned home from college early because of trouble he’d had with prescription pills. Ultimately, that’s when Ricky’s real addiction began.
Earlier this month though, Ricky’s addiction, took an unexpected turn.
“My little brother, a son, nephew, uncle, best friend, was gone,” said Neuman.
Ricky died from a heroin overdose.
When EMS arrived, the person Ricky was with, lied, “The person who called 911 said he was just having an asthma attack and a dose of Narcan may or may not have, we’ll never know, but it may have pulled him out of this and he may still be here today,” said Neuman.
Governor Mike Pence announced a new push through his drug task force to make Narcan more readily available in every part of Indiana.
“Some of those recommendations indicate the pain that’s being felt by families all over Indiana is finally being heard,” said Scott Watson of Heartland Intervention.
Watson meets addicts fighting for their lives every day. He’s happy to see the state taking action, to save more lives, like Ricky’s.
“That story is a story that’s being played out in living rooms and on street corners all across Indiana, the reality is, Indiana has a big problem with substance use,” he said.
“Maybe Narcan could’ve saved him, so if EMS has Narcan readily available and it saves a life, it’s a great thing,” said Neuman.
The CDC reports heroin overdose deaths since 2002 have quadrupled.
The Governor is calling on the Indiana Department of Health to look into which communities are most in need of Narcan.