Heroin Overdose Confirmed and A. G. Jackley Calls for Meth and Heroin Public Awareness Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 18, 2016
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
Heroin Overdose Confirmed and Attorney General Jackley Calls for Methamphetamine and Heroin Public Awareness Campaign
PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms a heroin overdose has taken the life of Nathan Herman, 34, Selby.
“The national heroin epidemic is impacting South Dakota. The addiction to heroin is devastating and we must be vigilant in keeping this deadly drug out of our State,” said Jackley. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Herman family during this difficult time.”
The addiction to heroin commonly begins with prescription opiate abuse. Both heroin and opiate addiction impacts the lives of so many individuals. Every single economic level is at risk and it does not target a particular gender or specific age group.
“The time to act is now and we cannot wait to see a further increase in arrests or overdoses to implement a public awareness campaign to include both methamphetamine and heroin. South Dakota suffered 42 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2014, several of which heroin was a contributing factor. An effective awareness campaign must include a collective effort from community service groups, law enforcement, the school system, parents and the private sector. We are working with stakeholders to develop a cost-effective outreach campaign,” added Jackley.
South Dakota law enforcement has seen an increase in heroin activity including cases that confirm movement of heroin into South Dakota from Colorado and Oregon. There have also been some cases involving the sale of heroin through the U.S. Postal Service. Law enforcement continues to be proactive in their efforts to prevent the availability of heroin in the state.
The Attorney General’s Office sponsored legislation in 2015 that would enable all first responders to carry naloxone, a medicine to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. Having naloxone available is a cost-effective way to save lives especially to our rural first responders. As Attorney General I have authorized the use of available drug control funds to assist units of local government and first responders with the purchase of the Narcan agent.