Fight against heroin in Lansing continues

At least one person dies every week in Ingham County due to an opioid overdose.

A deadly statistic that would be even worse if not for a life saving drug.

According to the Ingham County Health Department, on average, one person dies from an overdose every 5 days in Ingham County.

Many of those deaths happen in the city of Lansing and are linked directly to heroin.

Statistics show heroin use often starts after an addiction to pain killers.

It’s a growing trend that has turned into a deadly battle in the city of Lansing.

“In 2015, we saw 26 fatalities and 139 overdoses, in 2016, we saw 26 more fatalities and we saw 161 overdoses,” says Lansing Police Chief, Mike Yankowski.

LPD Officers used the overdose reversing drug Narcan to save 8 lives last year, but that’s just a drop in the bucket.

“The city of Lansing Fire Department in 2016 administered 337 doses of Narcan,” says Lansing Fire Department, Chief of Training, Teresa Robinson.

According to Robinson, those 337 doses, don’t necessarily mean there were that many cases, because some overdoses need more than one dose.

Still, there’s no denying opioid use is a major issue here in the Capitol City.

“I think we’re making progress, but the biggest issues that really has turned this heroin epidemic to a different level is the use of Fentanyl, and Carfentanil,” says Yankowski.

According to Robinson, “Carfentanil is one hundred times more potent than Fentanyl, it’s actually an elephant tranquializer, so you can imagine how strong this has to be.”

So as the drugs get stronger, the threat of deadly overdoses gets even worse.

And while there’s not end to the issue in sight, both the police and fire departments are working together to help solve the problem.

If you would like more information on substance abuse or where to find help, head to the “Seen on 6” section of our website.

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