Former addict raising awareness with 'say no to heroin' signs in Bartholomew County

By Derrik Thomas, Katie Cox

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WRTV) -- A former drug addict is using “say no” signs to raise awareness and help tackle the opioid problem in Bartholomew County.

Drug overdose deaths in Bartholomew County have tripled in the last three years, according to the sheriff’s department and it’s an issue Paul Barker, 28, says he’s far too familiar with.

Barker has been handing out signs from the back of his jeep that say “say no to heroin, say yes to life” and other catchy phrases to get the word out that addiction is no joke and overdoses are a serious problem.

“(To tell people) maybe I shouldn’t be doing this,” said Barker. “Maybe my family is more important. Maybe life is more important than this high. People do care. We care.”

Barker is currently paying for the signs out of his own pocket. If you would like a sign to put in your yard you can message him on his Facebook page, Smoky Trees.

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