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Overdoses on rise in Shelby County

While Shelbyville and Shelby County residents continue to get settled into a new year, Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen admits he is seeing an old problem rear its ugly head – overdoses.


Landwerlen tells Giant FM that overdoses are back up in Shelby County.


“Though we are still having some overdoses from prescription medication abuse, the majority of overdoses currently seem to involve opiates – primarily heroin and fentanyl. And we are seeing more and more fentanyl, and seeing it in other drugs that we are getting such as cocaine and meth,” Landwerlen said.


Landwerlen said fentanyl is used to cut heroin because it is cheaper and sometimes it is sold as heroin.


“When a heroin addict takes the same dose size of fentanyl as they normally take of heroin, it will undoubtedly result in an overdose and death, as fentanyl is so much more powerful than heroin,” Landwerlen told Giant FM.


Help exists for any resident wanting to get help, according to Landwerlen, as he said residents can find a recovery organization at or by calling 211 for help any time of the day. In addition, there is the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-622-4357. He said people can also contact him at 317-392-6440 and he will guide them to services.


Landwerlen notes the stigma surrounding addiction is starting to change.


“Several people, now regularly, post on social media that they are in recovery and how much better they feel. In the past, recovery was a very secretive thing, presumably due to shame for being an addict. I’m very happy that this seems to be changing, increasing the odds that some addicts will be more willing to seek the help they need,” Landwerlen said.