Heroin related deaths have nearly tripled since 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau officially puts the number of heroin related deaths at 14 on Tuesday morning.

"This year in 2013 we've had 14 deaths as a result of heroin toxicity, "says Clark. "We still have four deaths that are considered undetermined pending toxicological analysis so that's 14 total for 2013, which if you recall in 2012, we were at five for the whole year."

Clark is stopping short of calling the heroin deaths an epidemic but he is admitting the climate is right. "With such a drastic increase compared to the numbers we compared to last year it certainly seems to be approaching proportions consistent with an epidemic," added Clark.

The problem is not confined to East Baton Rouge Parish. "As long as there is that demand there is going to continue to be that supply," says Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack. "I'm going to tell you there's going to be more deaths until we get a handle on this.

Assumption Parish has had three suspected cases with one of them confirmed as heroin overdose. Waguespack, who is the chairman of the governor's drug task force, added this warning on Tuesday: "If you're an addict...if I'm speaking to a family member of an addict you need to get these people some serious help...unless you're on a death wish this heroin is going to be a killer and it's going to continue to kill."

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