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Heroin Growing Problem in Affluent Suburbs and Throughout Michigan

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss the “equal opportunity killer” that is heroin, Sheriff Michael Bouchard says.

An increased supply of heroin from Afghanistan has decreased prices, making it more readily available throughout Michigan, which has a significant public health problem, officials say. (Patch file photo)
An increased supply of heroin from Afghanistan has decreased prices, making it more readily available throughout Michigan, which has a significant public health problem, officials say. (Patch file photo)

Heroin, long thought to be a plague in poor inner cities, has infiltrated Oakland County, home to some of the metro Detroit area’s most affluent suburbs.

The problem is so pervasive and the numbers so staggering that Sheriff Michael Bouchard’s office will host a free town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac.

Heroin use in Oakland County has increased 300 percent. and is “an equal opportunity killer,” Bouchard told the Detroit Free Press.

Speakers will include members of the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, which is made up of detectives from police departments across the county, and Dr. Alan Janssen, an emergency room doctor.

They will address some of the factors driving increased use of heroin, including increased production in Afghanistan that has caused a corresponding drop in price, as well as an increase in teenagers’ use of the drug and its increased purity.

Heroin use in Oakland County and across the state has also been on the rise as addicts find it more difficult to ge more expensive prescription painkillers containing opiates, the Free Press said.

The Department of Community Health said the increased use of heroin not only caused heroin overdose deaths in the state to increase to 728 from 2010-2012, up from 271 during the four-year period of 1999-2002, but also cause related health problems.

Admissions to publicly funded treatment programs for heroin addicts increased to about 13,600 in 2013, more than double the 6,500 admissions in 2002.

In Oakland County, where some of the most affluent metro Detroit residents live, and Wayne County, where some of the poorest live, don’t come close to matching the problem in Macomb County.

Both Oakland and Wayne are more populous, but Macomb County still had more heroin deaths than any other county in Michigan from 2010-2012, the data show.


Bob April 15, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Kids are fine Luther...same as it ever was. Starts at home w/ the parents like Racer boy said. Darwinism....the smart, strong ones survive....weak are weeded out........and life goes on.... Be a Parent...not a friend!
Luther's Fan April 15, 2014 at 01:35 PM
Well, I was a parent to three, and all are successful medical professionals. Do you watch the news or know any teachers in public schools. Ask teachers if kids are fine. Most are total brats. When I look at all those on the welfare dole, seems like Darwinism needs a few more million years to weed out the lazy.
Racer Boy April 15, 2014 at 10:11 PM
Unfortunately, we created the lazy...LBJ's Great Society has spent $Trillions developing an entire segment of society totally dependent on Government for it's survival. Now, that group has grown in such numbers as to be able to elect a Socialist-based representative government. They in turn, continue to provide more and more Government supplied perks. It will be very difficult to halt this death spiral into oblivion. They have control of our primary, secondary and collegiate educational system...literally indoctrinating our children into the Socialist lifestyle...which looks good on paper. It works really well until you run out of someone else's money. We are at the critical tipping point where the takers are dangerously close to out numbering the makers. We need to wake up now.
HARVEY JONES April 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM
To the local POLICE DEPT: It is easy to find where these heroin houses are located Just follow your local cab companies and the Gratiot bus line.
bruce mallon May 15, 2014 at 11:18 AM
when our DEA cowboys keep pot as a harmful drug on the lawbooks, heroin, cocain, oxy pills and all other really harmful drugs keep pot that keep company withe these drugs, they look like the same thing. the true harm is lack of information our youth are not getting. until we get rid of the DEA and educate our kids about the real harm some substances, tobacco, alcohol and pills including heroin and cocaine kids will see all things as the same. get real about government and vote for educated, truthful leaders instead of shills for DEA, guns, tobacco and drug company criminals.

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