Mid-Michigan sees spike in overdoses over holiday weekend - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan sees spike in overdoses over holiday weekend

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Police and emergency medical workers have seen heroin and opioid overdoses increase over recent years with several reported over the holiday weekend.

"Since last Thursday we've had probably eight heroin overdoses in general throughout Bay County. One, which was fatal," Bay County Undersheriff Troy Cunningham said.

Without quick action and a powerful antidote it could have been worse.

"The other ones, we've had several where the paramedics or even one of our deputies has been able to use the narcan or naloxone and revive them," Cunningham said.

Bay County took a hit over the weekend, but it's the same all over Mid-Michigan. A spike in the availability of cheap powerful drugs and unattended pain prescriptions has caused an epidemic.

The most commonly abused opioids are prescription pain medications, followed by heroin. Which lately has turned up laced with fentanyl, an even more powerful and dangerous drug. Just a few grains lacing a heroin dose is deadly.

"I think the prescription drugs play a big part as far as it being a gateway to getting into heroin," Cunningham said.

Cunningham hopes the Red Barrel Program can help the problem. The red box swallows any unwanted pills from anyone at anytime with zero questions asked.

"There's a lot of good things gonna be happening in the future that I'm confident in, but it's not gonna be anything that goes away anytime soon I don't think. Realistically, it's gonna take a while," Cunningham said.

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