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Posted on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

Heroin overdose deaths in Livingston County on record pace this year

By Cindy Heflin

Heroin deaths in Livingston County this year are on a record pace, the Daily Press & Argus reported.

So far this year, 13 overdose deaths have been reported, the newspaper said, including that of a 41-year-old Brighton man who died Thursday after being released from jail earlier in the day.

If that pace continues, the number of deaths would exceed the number reported in 2009, the highest ever recorded in the county, according to the article.



Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

I want to thank 'Pest' for asking the right question. Why do people want to try psychoactive substances? Kids are using a variety of such chemicals and many are also legally sold in the market. I hate crimes and criminal activities but we may have to know that the problem will not go away. A legal substance could be used for unhealthy use. We will be eventually forced to understand as to why a person wants this kind of mental experience. Drug rehab is equally expensive and could we afford the costs while drugs flow into the community? Rehab offers no hope if there are more addicts joining the program on a daily basis. I speak about 'prevention' and not particularly about the value of rehab as a public health measure. In public health, the principle involves that of promoting well-being in a cost effective manner. We can promote well-being of people who are known to us. We cannot promote well-being through advertisements or warnings. There should be a direct, and personal connection between the health care provider and the person whose well-being must be defended. The health care system that we have today comes into play when the person gets sick and asks for medical attention. In drug overdose, such attention is too late and very often, we simply report it as death due to drug overdose. This individual is not known to us while he lived at this risk of death due to drug use. I can suggest prevention; that would prevent the person from seeking the pleasure obtained by the use of a chemical substance if I directly know that person. There are no magic bullets to fire. I must meet the person and ask him the question suggested by 'Pest'.


Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

First question - WHY are people getting into drugs, especially heroin. WHY? When the dangers of addictions is well publicized and even young kids are warned against drugs. I've seen kids or young adults from good homes turn to drugs. In fact, I know of a few people who died due to accidental overdose. I have NO tolerance for those that sell and push drugs. They are intentionally putting a dangerous tool in the hands of our youth with no regards to their safety or the safety of others. They are destroyers of family and of life. When a young adult or child dies because of drugs, the family never gets over it. They never stop blaming themselves and wondering what they did wrong. Drugs destroy more lives than just the person who died - but the lives of those who have lost someone.

David Briegel

Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

Anyone interested should google LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a fine organization of former drug warriors who have first hand experience at this failure. Also, there is a new report on the failure of the global war on drugs.


Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

Put a warning label on it.

David Briegel

Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Roadman, You should listen to Will Warner. I rarely agree with Will but he is right on target. On the other hand, by your own admission, you look defeat in the eye and declare victory. Geez. Nancy Reagan knew heroine or heroin? John Sinclair knew more than you, me and Nancy put together!!

David Briegel

Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 2:51 a.m.

I agree with you!


Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

I will agree drug addiction is a disease and it is inane to sentence defendants to long prison terms who are mere possessors of drugs as personal users. I also applaud our legislature in Michigan for amending the 1978 drug lifer law to make such convicts eligible for parole. More federal and state funding should be allocated to prevention, subacute and community treatment programs. Studies show that for every dollar so spent by the government, six additional dollars are saved in future potential expenditures and losses caused by the effects of drug abuse on society as a whole; these include criminal justice costs, lost work productivity, medical costs etc.


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

There has has been a spike in opioid use throughout Metro Detroit - especially among young persons.

Will Warner

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

We should declare victory in the war on drugs and try a different tack. Though it is not obvious to me that legalizing dangerous drugs would curb fatal overdoses, it would take the huge profits out of it, and hence the violence and other crime. Legalizing drugs could easily bring a on public health crisis, but that could not be worse than all the drug related violence. And then maybe we can visit Mexico again. Further, if our prisons are full, let out all the non-violent, non-pusher, drug offenders. That should make some space.

fight hunger

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

its so sos sad to read this i just lost a freind to this drug tis a shame


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

I have two nephews in what they refer to as Herion High and they tell me how drugs are passed back and forth all day long in class and that teachers have no control because they are afraid of the so called "gangs". Its a terribe shame.


Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

Well - at least you didn't claim the teacher was holding...


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

@David Briegel: Henry Anslinger would turn over in his grave if he heard you.

David Briegel

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

So that wonderful, unsuccessful war on sanity can't even keep the stuff away from our school kids. Better throw more money at that evil big gubbermint to fix the problem! Prohibition works? Except when it doesn't!

David Briegel

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

The war on drugs has been a miserable failure. We are now occupying the nation that provides the source of the heroin. How's that workin' for ya? Any system that dispenses drugs legally along with the aid and assistance to the addicts would be a much less costly and vast improvement over the status quo. Throwing more money at the failed War on Drugs Industrial Complex and the Prison Industrial Complex is as bad as burning money. And Mr Tibbs, it is the vast profit that provides the means for the harm to our agents. Gee, where do you think the money originates?


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

I sometimes think John Sinclair had it all right. But then I come to my senses and realize that Nancy Reagan is the true "heroine."


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

As John Sinclair once said: "We salute those housed in the vast penitentiaries of America as prisoners of the War on Drugs" "We salute our intrepid comrades who risk life and limb to supply us with the substances we require" "We salute you all ---because its awwlllllll goood!"


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Can we all agree that a Medical Heroin Dispensary would be going to far?


Tue, Jun 7, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

No we cannot. I knew a kid who died 5 years ago, the last time SE mich had a big spike in heroin deaths. It turned out his drugs were laced with Fentanyl. He wasn't a close friend or anything, but he may have made it to treatment if he had somewhere to get drugs that wouldn't have killed him.


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Not at all FredMax. That would be a good first step toward treating addiction like a medical problem, which it is.


Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.


David Briegel

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.