One southern Indiana county saw a decreease in drug-related deaths last year, according to Side Effects Public Media.
Clark County was hit hard by the opioid epidemic-- in 2015, it had the third-highest prevalence of HIV in the state, which officials attributed to injection drug use.
But late last month, public health officials announced the number of drug-related deaths in the county has decreased by a third, from 90 deaths in 2016 to 60 deaths in 2017.
County public health officer and ER physician Dr. Eric Yazel says the next step is dissecting the raw data. He says increased naloxone use has helped drug overdoses become less deadly, but drug use itself could possibly be down, too:
Yazel credits buy-in from law enforcement and community leaders for effective harm reduction efforts in his county — including a syringe exchange program that began in early 2017.