RICHMOND — Coroner Ron Stevens sees the worst results from Wayne County's opioid crisis, and he delivered bad news to those gathered for the most recent Heroin Is Here meeting at Reid Health.
Stevens said Thursday he had just processed the county's 49th confirmed opioid-related death for 2017. That number already surpasses the 44 opioid deaths in 2016 and the 42 in 2015, Stevens said.
Five of the deaths are attributed to carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer and analog of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Stevens said a dose of carfentanil the size of a grain of salt can prove deadly.
Carfentanil is one of about 70 analogs of fentanyl Stevens said have been seen. He said drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine are now laced with fentanyl variations that increase the potency and danger of the drugs. The county is seeing a return of drugs such as spice and LSD that also can be laced with fentanyl varieties, he added.