Coroner says drug abuse causing more autopsies, requests funding

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — The Delaware County Coroner says drug abuse is causing a spike in the number of autopsies he’s performing.

He’s asking the county council for $300,000 to pay for the increase.

Coroner Scott Hahn said his office performed 60 autopsies so far this year — a number he didn’t reach last year until the end of June.

Hahn said the spike comes from an increase in drug use across the county and it’s costing his office thousands.

He requested $300,000 at a meeting this week. The council approved $50,000 and said they will decide at a later date whether to approve more.

Sheriff’s deputies said they’re not surprised by the coroner’s request. First responders are using Narcan, an overdose antidote, to revived people every day.

“It’s really disheartening that there seems to be so many different ideas about what the answer is to the fix the issue and everybody seems to be talking about it but nobody seems to be acting on it,” Deputy Mitch Corry said.

In February of 2017, Muncie police investigated 13 overdoses and three overdose deaths in just one week.

The county coroner’s office does not have any full-time employees — not even Hahn. He’s a full-time Muncie firefighter in addition to his duties as coroner.

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