Government officials from across Michigan gathered in East Lansing Monday for the state's first Heroin Summit. Michigan's departments of Education and Community Health as well as the State Police held presentations and participated in panel discussions to determine how to stem the rising heroin problem.
Washtenaw Public Health epidemiologist Adreanne Waller says local organizations like the Washtenaw Health Initiative are already combating the problem.
She says they've been analyzing data, working with other local groups and creating a long-term strategy.
"That strategic plan will be done very soon," Waller says. "There’s lots going on, and that group in particular is trying to coordinate the effort.”
Waller says the rise in heroin use is part of the larger underlying problem of opiate addiction.
She says many people turn to the illegal narcotic after becoming addicted to prescription drugs they can no longer afford or access.