Through April in 2016, Washtenaw County has had 24 youths 21 years old and younger die from opioid-related overdoses, according to data from Washtenaw County Public Health.
From 2011 through April of 2016, the City of Saline (Zip Code 48176) has had 12 such youth deaths for an opioid-related overdose. “Some of it is pretty scary when you look at the ages of the kids involved in drugs,” Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik said.
In 2015, Washtenaw County saw 49 youth deaths from such overdoses, which was down from 65 youth deaths in 2014.
Further, through April in 2016, Washtenaw County has had 53 youths 21 years old and younger admitted to area emergency rooms for opioid-related unintentional overdoses. Overall, there was 201 such admissions for the entire year in 2015, which was drastically up from the year before which saw 101 total admissions in 2014.
Between 2011 and April of 2016, the City of Saline (48176) had 37 total youth ER admissions for opioid-related unintentional overdoses, while the City of Chelsea (48118) had 16 such admissions and the City of Dexter (48130) saw 5 admissions.
Saline Fire Chief Craig Hoeft said his department makes a lot of runs for overdoses, but not necessarily somebody dying. “It’s huge,” he said. Hoeft added the HV paramedic unit has ready use of Narcan on runs, which is a medication used to block the effects of opioids in overdose cases.
Hrinik said his department has not used the Narcan medication yet, but the county has used it 40-50 times with good results.
The Washtenaw County Public Health emergency room data was provided by the University of Michigan and Saint Joseph Mercy hospitals. The data does not include persons who survived their overdose and refused or did not seek medical care.