WAFB - Heroin and other opioids caused 89 overdose deaths in 2016. According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner, overdoses killed more people than homicides.
"We're still seeing trends that are not good for our community," said coroner, Dr. Beau Clark.
Speaking to reporters during Press Club, Clark says several factors lead to the explosion of opioid addiction in Louisiana over the last decade. He says pharmaceutical companies pushed doctors to prescribe more opioids by developing the pain scale as a vital sign. Then a crackdown on doctor shopping pushed people to the streets to feed their addiction. Finally, Clark says a reduction in jail time for non-violent drug dealers led to more dealers targeting Louisiana.
"You have someone who is addicted to opioids and the heroin dealer is going to give them an opportunity to keep their addiction going," said Clark.