Overdose deaths of IU student, brother prompt warnings

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (June 16, 2015) -- The deaths of an IU student and his brother prompted a warning from law enforcement and a mother for whom the story hit close to home.

Nick Savage, 19, and his brother Jack Savage, 18, were found dead Sunday morning in their northern Indiana home. Police believe the two overdosed on a lethal combination of prescription pills during a party in the area. Toxicology reports are pending.

Dr. Angi Fiege is one of many who can't believe the double tragedy.

"I’m heartbroken for the parents, who I’m sure raised their sons to be good, responsible people and taught them everything they could," Fiege said.

Fiege's daughter, Rachael, died in 2013 during her first week on campus at Indiana University. Fiege was at a party where alcohol was being consumed when she fell down a flight of stairs and hit her head. Friends didn't know how bad her injury was so they put her to bed. The next morning, Fiege went into cardiac arrest and never woke up.

"It’s a sadness that will never go away, just like it doesn’t go away for us. I cry every day," Angi Fiege said.

Stories like these are on the verge of happening again, close to home, said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox.

"If we can stop one or slow one down, because of our efforts or other law enforcement’s efforts, that’s what we’re here for," Cox said.

He's talking about underage parties. His department has busted three since the beginning of June, each with dozens of young adults and teenagers.

At one, held in an empty Johnson County home, a deputy used strong language to describe the party in a police report.

"I witnessed conditions that are appealing only to the standards of underage partiers, wild animals and vagrants. In addition to the cesspool, I also witnessed alcohol containers in the open," that deputy said.

It may seem like an overstatement, but Cox said it takes a lot to get teens - and even their parents - to understand the danger.

"The reason we’re (busting them) is to hopefully save a son or a daughter that may be passed out inside that home," Cox said.

Fiege is taking a similar message throughout the state, through her organization Rachael's First Week. She promotes an acceptance that kids will be kids and make poor choices. She's hoping to teach them how to look out for each other in dangerous situations and change the perception surrounding underage drinking and drug use.

"It’s hurtful to think that our kids could engage in behaviors like this and this is where it’s important for parents to drive home the points that these are dangerous things. ... These are good kids coming from good families and the perception that these are kids that have lived their life on the line is not true," Fiege said.

For more information on the dangers of underage alcohol and drug consumption, as well as the law and resources, go to the Rachael's First Week website here.

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