MUNCIE, Ind. (April 14,2015)-- In the months following the arrest of a Muncie pain doctor, some Delaware County residents have turned to street drugs. Federal and local authorities raided Dr. William Hedrick's pain clinic in the fall of 2014. He was later arrested and charged with reckless prescribing and conducting a corrupt business. Prosecutors have linked him to several overdose drug deaths in Delaware County.
"I have turned to the streets, I'm in a lot of pain," said a former patient of Hedrick.
In pain and nowhere to turn, that's how one former patient describes his current condition. He says he was a patient of Hedrick's for several years and relied on powerful narcotics to subdue the pain.
The former patient says other physicians refuse to treat him since he was once under the care of Hedrick. He tells CBS4 that he turned to illegal street drugs to ease his pain.
"I've tried heroin, coke, and meth," said the former patient.
Law enforcement in Delaware County say they have seen a spike in heroin use in recent years.
"Because of the situation with Dr. Hedrick, there are a lot less people using presription pills and people will now turn to another drug source," said Cpl. Jeff Stanley, supervisor of the Delaware County Sheriff Drug Unit
Cpl. Stanley says heroin is the drug people are turning to.
"It went from pain medications and prescription medications, and now we are seeing the majority of drug use being the heroin. It's a huge problem here throughout Delaware County and throughout Muncie," said Stanley.
Lynnaea South is also a former patient of Hedrick. She claims other local physicians refuse to treat her.South says she has been without her pain medication for months.
"It feels like someone is taking a chisel on my spine," said South.
South says she hasn't turned to heroin to ease her pain, but she admits that she has been tempted.
"Who is to say if i'm hurting so bad one of these days that I'm not going to need something to get me through," said South.
"It's rippling through the community at an alarming rate," said Cpl. Stanley.
Hedrick's trial is expected to begin in June.