A spike in heroin overdoses including several deaths followed by three teens being charged in the death of a Michigan State University student has turned the spotlight on Saline for drug use. Washtenaw County officials however say the problem with heroin and other opiates is really a national epidemic.
Substance Abuse Treatment Coordinator Anne Marshall says before a kid uses heroin there are issues. She says most people that use heroin started with prescription drugs. These drugs are either prescribed, or found by young adults easily in medicine cabinets.
Substance Abuse Prevention coordinator Therese Doud adds part of the problem is the different ways people react to the drugs, with some people addicted within a week or two of use.
To combat the problem of old drugs Saline has created a big red barrel effort at the police station in addition to a task force working on substance abuse issues.
Washtenaw County Health Organization funded treatments for opiate abuse jumped by 262 percent from 2011 to 2013.
Assistance for substance abuse issues can be found locally at Dawn Farm.
— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.