Here are three reasons why you need to read this Macomb Daily article by Jameson Cook.
- Heroin and opiate prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in the county in recent years, giving Macomb the dubious distinction of leading the state in fatal heroin overdoses over a three-year period...“It’s something that happening in every community,” said Judge Linda Davis, president of the statewide organization, Fraser-based Families Against Narcotics (FAN), formed in 2007. “We’ve been screaming about it for the past seven years and nobody listened. Now kids are dropping like flies. They’re not just addicted now, they’re dying. We are getting so many calls from people wanting to get involved with us.” Read the entire article.
- Randy O’Brien, who treats addicts as director of the Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse (MCOSA), described a common scenario: A youth or young adult gains access to pill swiped from his or her parents or grandparents’ medicine cabinet, or is prescribed pain pills for a sports injury or a procedure such as wisdom-teeth removal.“They’ll use that for a while go get their buzz,” O’Brien said. ”But that source will dry up and that start looking out the streets. … They’ll graduate to heroin. They start snorting it and before too long that start using needles for the better effect. It (injection) gives them an immediate high.”Data supports the rise in opiate abuse. Admissions to county-sponsored treatment programs for heroin and other opiates has more than doubled in 10 years, climbing from 1,126 in 2004, to 2,045 in 2008 to 2,497 in 2013, according to MCOSA. Read the entire article.
- Andrew Fortunato of Fraser, was an athlete and well-spoken high schooler who became an alcoholic and advanced to opiate prescription addiction following a prescription for an injury suffered in a bicycle accident. But he stopped short of heroin. He has become a speaker for FAN, ran a “recovery house” for a year and is a mental health technician at a hospital.“(Opiate addiction) is usually a very gradual process,” Fortunato said. “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘I think I want to become a heroin addict today.’ It’s a slow and steady slide to the gateway of hell.” Read the entire article.