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Health

Eight overdose from heroin in Washtenaw County

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Eight people have overdosed from heroin over the past two days in Washtenaw County, according to the health department and the sheriff's office. One person died in Saline, and seven others were hospitalized.

Sergeant Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office says heroin use in Michigan is increasing.

Rina Miller reported in September that many users of prescription drugs switch to heroin because it is less expensive.

Fox says heroin use has become popular even among high school students.

"It's become fairly common. We're seeing it in kids in high school. They get it. They start using it. They have friends, they say, 'hey why don't you try this,' and it's just sort of a domino effect," he said. "Once it's introduced to a group of people or a community, it just has the ability to slowly spread."

Fox says heroin use has also increased in small towns across the state.

"It's spreading into areas, smaller communities, where it wasn't before. It's becoming more of an issue than it was before in some of the smaller communities," he said.

Fox could not speak directly to what may have caused the recent rash of overdoses. He says heroin usage cannot be tracked based on overdoses.

-Sarah Kerson, Michigan Radio Newsroom