INDIANAPOLIS -- As heroin abuse rises in Central Indiana, so does heroin-linked child abuse.
Child advocates say in 2013 there were a little more than 4,900 cases of child abuse in Marion County. In 2015, that number spiked to more than 7,500 cases.
Advocates like Danielle Pierson say substance abuse is to blame for 80 percent of child abuse cases. Heroin has such a strong hold they sometimes find the entire family using – the youngest user she's encountered to-date was 12 years old.
"Usually we see the mother using and then we try to find relative placement and find out the relatives are also using," Pierson said. "We find the teenager may be using as well, so it affects the whole entire family."
For more information on state addiction and substance abuse resources, click here.