LAWRENCEBURG – The stories Aaron Negangard told during his speech about “Strategies to Protect Your Family from Substance Abuse” at the 18th annual Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corp. Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference April 26 were alarming.
The prosecutor for Dearborn and Ohio counties enlightened 93 attendees about a new illegal drug dubbed krokodil, which leaves reptilian marks on its victims. The active ingredient, codeine, a mild opiate, is mixed with methamphetamine or another substance to mimic the high of heroin.
The long-term effects? Flesh falls off at the injection site, gangrene sets in and amputation occurs. He warned, “Within 12 months, you’ll be dead. Children will have their arms and legs amputated because they’ll be so addicted to a drug.”
He recalled a Decatur County boy who “did not like how his mother was when she was on drugs. He did something with her pills. We’ll never know … the mother and her boyfriend beat her 12-year-old child to death, torturing him so he would tell them where the pills were .... She expressed no remorse” for killing him.
The Bright resident added quietly, “We all remember the five people who were killed in Franklin County. A 2-year-old was found walking among the dead corpses of her family.”
Of illegal drugs and unprescribed legal medications, Negangard observed, “It is a fair assessment to say it’s an epidemic at this point. Drug abuse is a disease ... of addiction.” According to him, “Overdose deaths have become a huge problem in our area.” He read a stark statistic recently. “One person dies every other day from an overdose in Hamilton County,” Ohio.
Jail is another very likely possibility. “Drug addicts are not very smart criminals.”
While alcohol is called the gateway leading youth to stronger substances, the prosecutor maintained, “Marijuana is the ultimate gateway drug.” According to him, “Every heroin addict I ever met – all but one started out smoking marijuana at a young age .... This is not the stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s.” He reported now it’s four to five times more potent.