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The Journal Gazette

Monday, November 13, 2017 2:00 pm

Indiana forensics lab sees increase in drug cases

Associated Press

 

INDIANAPOLIS – The primary forensics lab for Indiana has seen a sharp increase in drug cases during the past decade that officials say was driven in part by the state's opioid crisis.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana State Police Laboratory oversees about 20,000 cases each year from all but one of the state's 92 counties. Of those cases, about 14,000 involve drug substances, including powders, pills and plants.

The lab has seen an increase in drug cases in recent years. In 2008, it handled nearly 9,400 such cases. By 2016, the number had increased to more than 12,100 cases. This year, the lab's drug unit is expected to handle more than 14,500 cases.

Eric Lawrence oversees the lab's scientists. He says Indiana's opioid crisis has introduced new risks for scientists, including a drug that can overdose an individual by accidental contact.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com