89.1 WEMU

Fewer Opioid-Related Deaths Reported In Washtenaw County In 2015

Feb 23, 2016

Credit Washtenaw County Health Department

Drug overdose deaths in Washtenaw County declined last year, according to county health department officials. The survey also uncovered a disturbing trend--the drug fentanyl is being found in more overdose cases than in previous years.

49 Washtenaw County residents died in 2015 because of prescription painkiller and heroin overdoses, while 65 overdoses were reported the previous year. 

Of those in 2015, the drug fentanyl was found in a higher percentage of cases than ever before. That means more heroin is being laced with the potent and fatal substance. 

State Representative Gretchen Driskell has organized four town hall events in the past year to raise awareness of the problem. She says lawmakers in Lansing are aware of the increase in opioid abuse and are currently working on a variety of bills (found here and here) to limit fatalities.

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— Amanda LeClaire is an assignment reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News.  Contact her at 734.487.7189 or email her aleclair@emich.edu