Warning: Opiate overdoses on the increase in Berrien County

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

The statistics for heroin based overdose deaths have been relatively static over the years being in the thirty-some deaths per year over the last several years with a slight downward trend last year. That trend was possibly due to the prevalence of Naloxone (Narcan), the antidote for an overdose used by police officers, medic crews, and many others. However, in the last two weeks the prosecutor’s office has received reports of an extraordinary number of overdose deaths and overdose recoveries in such a short period. Though not yet confirmed by autopsy reports, death scenes would suggest that these deaths have been throughout the county. In addition, it is reported there have been more than a usual number of treatments at emergency rooms as well. Berrien County Prosecuting Attorney’s said the spike in these occurrences may be related to mixtures containing a higher than usual percentage of fentanyl, an opiate now used by drug dealers because the synthetic version of this product is less expensive than heroin itself. The office also said If you are aware of a relative or friend who uses opiates, warnings should be given that the source of their supply could be part of this recent deadly mixture. And more importantly, substance abuse treatment should be encouraged. Information is available at the Berrien County Health Department at 269 927 5668 or Carol’s Hope at 269 556 1526.Local authorities are investigating these incidents and prosecution decisions will be made as the investigations conclude. If you have any information relating to recent incidents described above please contact your local law enforcement agency, Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP or 800-342-STOP, or the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department tip line at on www.bcsheriff.org .

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