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Here are the deadliest zip codes for drug use in Indianapolis

The Safe Syringe Access & Support Program was renewed by city-county council
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Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 04, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Coroner's office has released the five deadliest zip codes for drug related deaths.

That includes the Haughville area, northeast side, east side, southeast side and Warren Park area.

The report states fentanyl was found in most of the overdose deaths.

Tuesday night, the city-county council approved extending funding for the Marion County Public Health Department's safe syringe access and support program. Hundreds of thousands of free needles, overdose reversal spray, and other resources are provided to those in need.

The health department says the goal is to cut down on infections and diseases, along with saving lives.

"We typically are giving out and collecting about 10,000 syringes a week," said Madison Weintraub.

Syringes, overdose reversal spray, containers for used needles, and other resources are found on the Marion County Public Health Department's mobile unit.

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"We provide harm reduction resources so people have less of a chance of picking up an infectious disease from drug use, as well as reduce overdoses here in Indianapolis," she said.

The unit is part of the Safe Syringe Access and Support Program which was just approved for another two years of funding by the city-county council Tuesday night.

Assistant administrator, Madison Weintraub says the program was created in 2019 due to the high increase in drug users, overdoses, and concern for the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

"From 2012 to 2017 we saw tenfold increase in acute Hepatitis C cases. In 2018, we had 8.5 acute Hepatitis C cases per 100,000 people since the program started, as of 2023 we are down to 3.3 cases per 100,000 so we've really been able to penetrate and reach people who use drugs to provide harm reduction," said Weintraub.

"I wish that there was a program like this available when I was using. I think for everybody on our team, our pasts guide what we do now, and we offer the kind of care that we wish we had available to us when we needed it," said Carrie O'Brien.

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Carrie O'brien has lived through the experience and is now a Harm Reduction Manager for the Damien Center. The organization partners with the health department.

"We are giving folks that use drugs a safe, comfortable place to come and get resources that they wouldn't have access to," said O'Brien. "There are so few places where folks can go and get these services, or any services that are actively using, that are met with kindness and love and not get that judgment. There's here."

The areas most impacted by overdose deaths, according to the coroners office, are in these five zip codes:

46222
46218
46201
46203
46219

"We go out to Brookside Community Church on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide syringes, sharps, containers, Naloxone, are staff by peer recovery coaches that are able to navigate and help people get linked up to substance use disorder treatment, resources, shelters, other social services as needed. We also have brick and mortar locations scattered throughout the city. We try to go, you know, where people are dying from overdoses, where they're getting diagnosed with hepatitis C, and where those kind of drug related crimes are occurring. So we can really saturate the city," said Weintraub.

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That top five drug-related zip codes include the Haughville area, where Adrian Love lives.

"That's unfortunate to hear because I hear a lot of kids walk around this neighborhood so to know it's one of the deadliest and not so safe its frustrating to hear for sure," said Love.

He said it's important programs like this one continue.

"It's extremely important because we want our neighborhood safe. I think about the kids in the neighborhood and having a safe space for them so they can grow up and be successful," said Love.

The Damien Center said last year, it gave out more than half a million syringes.

The health department said thanks to the resources being provided, emergency service runs for overdoses are down.

Participants are also 5x more like to enter treatment and 3x more likely to stop injecting drugs entirely.

"We did a cost effectiveness analysis back in 2022 it showed that for every year that we operate, we save up to $4.2 million in HIV and hepatitis C treatment costs," said Weintraub.

Naloxone can be a life-saving drug that has the ability to reverse opioid overdoses.

It's better known as Narcan and you can get it at most pharmacies without a prescription or you can find one of overdose lifeline's naloxboxes and get Narcan for free.

Go to Overdose Lifeline's website for a map of locations across the state.