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Tippecanoe Co. coroner says abuse of drugs approaching crisis level locally

The Tippecanoe County Council has approved an additional $30,000 for the coroner’s budget.

Coroner Donna Avolt says the money is needed to cover the cost of autopsies and toxicology reports, and she thinks it will not be enough to last the rest of the year. State statute requires these things when an overdose is suspected and there is no other medical explanation for a death.

Avolt says there has been a dramatic rise in the number of drug-related deaths, much of it due to the increasing abuse of prescription drugs. She characterizes the drug problem in the county as “approaching a crisis.”

Avolt says the expenses in her department will continue to rise until the community gets a handle on the situation.