Police: Heroin overdoses up in Bay County - WNEM TV 5

Police: Heroin overdoses up in Bay County

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

An epidemic that is sweeping across the country has carved out a firm foot-hold in Mid-Michigan.

The heroin problem has been well-documented, yet while awareness is up, some are wondering why there haven't been better results.

Brandy Horn got the phone call that every family member dreads.

“Shelby overdosed again. She didn’t make it this time and I didn’t know what to do,” Horn recalled.

A heroin overdose claimed the life of Horn’s 27-year-old sister last Christmas Eve.

Horn said she died alone in a bathroom at a motel in Bay City and her death is a symbol of the growing problem of heroin in the Bay City area.

Since the start of 2015 in Bay City there have been 26 overdoses. Ten of them involved heroin. Three people died as a result of those overdoses and two by way of heroin.

The other from cocaine.

“There's a lot of regret and a lot of guilt in our family. Why was my little sister even in a motel on Christmas Eve? Why? Fifteen minutes away from me,” Horn said.

Bay City Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini said his agency is part of the Bay County Heroin Taskforce. They’re also involved with the county drug court and the FBI Save Streets Taskforce.

“We're going to continue to try to educate to get people connected to their services. To provide emergency medical services when needed and enforce the law. Part of that is reducing the supply of heroin,” Cecchini said.

Horn said her sister went through drug court and rehab but she could not break free of the powerful grip of heroin addiction.

Ultimately, it took her life.

Now, Horn wants the police and the community to work together so more tragedies like Shelby's never happen again.

“People need to start opening their eyes and realize that this can happen to them,” Horn said. 

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