Marion County heroin-related deaths on the rise

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The number of heroin-related deaths in Marion County is set to be the highest in three years. The Coroner’s Office gave us some scary statistics to back that up.

In 2011, the Coroner’s Office recorded 48 heroin related deaths. The next year, it jumped to 77. This year, they say, we may exceed that with 49, so far.

A local mother is hoping to empower people enough to lower the number.

Kristy Nelson is sharing the story of her son Bryan, who died at 19 years old from mixing Xanax with Vicodin and others. She said Bryan was like many other teens in the sense that he had high hopes for his future.

“He wanted to be in, of all things, law enforcement, and the disease got a hold of him, and it became bigger than Bryan was,” said Kristy.

She said he successfully completed treatment, but tried the drugs again in January of 2009 while with friends and that cost him his life.

“He used the same amount that he used prior, but he had been sober, so his body wasn’t used to it.”

Now, Kristy is telling the story of her son’s death, and the heroin-related death of Glee star Cory Monteith, to empower others.

She speaks at an area treatment facility where she works, and to school kids about the need to stay clean.

“It’s something that affects not just the addict and their family, it has a lot of reprucussions.”