Pubdate: Tue, 30 May 2006
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2006 Detroit Free Press
Author: Kathleen Gray, Free Press Staff
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Residents Warned Of Lethal Drug Mix

Another person died from a probable drug overdose, Wayne County 
health officials reported Monday, bringing the toll to 48 people who 
have died since May 19.

Even though the number was dropping from the multiple deaths per day, 
health officials aren't ready to say the deadly overdose spurt is tapering off.

Toxicology results won't be available for several weeks, but health 
officials say they believe the deaths have been caused by a dangerous 
combination of heroin or cocaine and the painkiller fentanyl.

"The numbers have always fluctuated," said Teresa Blossom, Wayne 
County spokeswoman. "Some days, we've had three or four deaths, on 
others we've had one."

The latest surge in deaths first came to the public's attention when 
Wayne County issued a warning on May 19 because 12 people had died 
over a 24-hour span.

Since then, the county has distributed at least 20,000 flyers, 
warning people of the dangers of the illegal street drug and urging 
drug addicts to get treatment rather than risk using the substance.

"We want to continue to urge the public to be mindful that the deadly 
street drugs have increased," Blossom said Monday. "We hope that 
anyone can avoid engaging in the activity and for those who have 
addiction, we hope they can seek treatment."

 From September through April, more than 100 drug overdose deaths 
were recorded in metro Detroit and most of those are believed to have 
been caused by the heroin/fentanyl mixture.

Neither Oakland nor Macomb counties reported any drug overdose deaths 
over the holiday weekend.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman