Sheriff urges addicts to get help following possible overdose

Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said addicts should call their sheriff if they don't know where to get help. (Garrett Bergquist/KRCG 13)

A mid-Missouri sheriff on Thursday said addicts can call his office if they want help but don't know where to turn.

Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said his deputies are investigating a woman's Thursday morning death as a possible drug overdose. He said a 34-year-old woman was found dead in a home near Dixon. The woman left behind a 7-year-old child. Heitman said heroin may have been the cause.

"It only takes one time for this stuff to kill you," he said. "It's terrible stuff."

Heitman said there are a plethora of resources available for drug addicts. He said he suggests Pathways Community Health's drug treatment program, which can be accessed at locations in Columbia, Linn Creek, Clinton and Rolla. Closer to Maries County, he said Celebrate Recovery, located in Belle, has had a lot of success helping patients manage their addiction. If you don't know where to turn, Heitman said to call your sheriff's office.

"I guarantee you there's not a sheriff in the state that wouldn't rather see you get help than put you in handcuffs," he said.

Heitman said addicts need to be particularly careful not to return to drugs after they've been in treatment for a while. He said recovering addicts are at increased risk of a fatal overdose if they use the amount of drugs they're used to using because their bodies have lost the tolerance they built up.

According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, you can find more information about drug abuse treatment programs by calling (573) 751-4942.

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