Heroin Deaths Hit Record in Johnson County

By Mark Carlson

IOWA CITY, Iowa — New numbers from the Johnson County Medical Examiner show there have been more heroin-related deaths in 2014 than any other year countywide.

So far this year 10 people have died from heroin-related incidents in Johnson County. The previous high was nine in 2012, according to an email from Doug Beardsley, Johnson County Public Health Director. In 2011 and again in 2013 three people died at the hands of heroin.

The spike in deaths has caught the attention of the county’s Board of Health, who discussed the matter at a meeting earlier this week.

“The rise in heroin deaths is seen nationally and in Iowa,” Beardsley said in an email.

In response the Medical Examiner’s office has been meeting with local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and health officials. More information about those meetings is expected to be released in the coming days.

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