Pubdate: Sat, 14 Jan 2017
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2017 Detroit Free Press


Over a 12-hour period in Beverly Hills, two sisters and a boyfriend of one
of the them were rushed to the hospital after accidentally overdosing on

Police say all three are lucky to be alive.

"The boy was the luckiest," said Detective Sgt. Lee Davis of the Beverly
Hills Public Safety Department. "Two of our detectives went to his house
about the two prior overdoses and they found him totally unresponsive and
all alone. If they didn't show up, this probably would have been a totally
different story."

The story began Tuesday night in a drugstore parking lot at 13 Mile and
Southfield roads. That's where the older sister, 20, had overdosed in her
parked car.

Her younger sister, 16, overdosed that same evening at the sister's
boyfriend's house in Beverly Hills.

As of Friday, all three were recuperating in the hospital. Davis, the
police liaison officer to Birmingham Public Schools, shared the story in
an email with Groves High School Principal Cathy Hurley, who sent it out
to the Groves community in an email blast.

"The department is beginning to see an increase in heroin use here in
Beverly Hills," Hurley wrote. "Please report any concerns or suspicious
behavior to Beverly Hills Public Safety. Better to be wrong than
jeopardize a young person's life."

Michigan's heroin epidemic has no boundaries. A 29-year-old Waterford
Township woman overdosed Wednesday in a Bloomfield Township shopping
center parking lot. Police found her slumped in a car with a needle in her
arm. Similar cases were recently reported in Clinton Township and Warren.

The rate of heroin-related overdose deaths in the United States more than
quadrupled between 2000 and 2015, accounting for nearly 16,000 deaths
nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Michigan drug overdose deaths are up 14 percent from previous years.

It's an epidemic that transcends age and income. According to the CDC,
some of the greatest increases in heroin use are occurring in women, the
privately insured and people with higher incomes -- demographic groups
with historically low rates of heroin use.

Davis said the two sisters are from the Farmington area and that none of
the three currently attend Birmingham Public Schools. He nevertheless felt
it necessary to share it with the district, in the hopes of reaching other

"In each case, the subjects were unresponsive and minutes from dying
without 9-1-1 intervention," Davis wrote. "The message that helped save
these people, and the one I'd like to pass on is, 'If you see something,
say something,' and the sooner the better. This epidemic is no longer just
a scary story that happened to a friend of a friend; it is very real and
in our face."

Davis said the heroin was purchased somewhere in Detroit and that
investigators are still reviewing the case for criminal charges.

As a longtime police liaison officer, Davis said he realizes teenagers are
oftentimes reluctant to share information regarding their peers. At the
same time, he wants students to understand what's at stake.

"If they hear stories, they need to tell someone," he said. "They need to
know they could be saving someone's life."

He added the warning signs are pretty consistent when it comes to students
and drug use.

"They start withdrawing from their circle of friends, their grades start
to drop and they start skipping classes," he said. "It's almost always the
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