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Tag Archive | "HIV"

Overdoses continue to rise


 

From Michigan State Police Lakeview

Those calls handled by troopers which are identified as overdoses, are again up significantly from the previous year. “Although the raw numbers might not seem extraordinary, the increase is almost exponential; we went from 7 in 2015 to 15 in 2016 and now 25 in 2017,” said F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney, Lakeview Post Commander. Sweeney also stressed that the numbers are only MSP calls and don’t include calls handled by other law enforcement or EMS agencies. 

According to Sweeney, the majority of these overdoses are related to opioid use including heroin. “The use of these drugs and the overdoses associated with it, continue to be a law enforcement and public health concern in our post area.”  

Opioids including heroin are obviously dangerous, but now we know they’re being mixed with other drugs and compounds, increasing their toxicity. “Cheese” as it’s sometimes referred, is heroin mixed with over the counter cold remedies like Tylenol PM. This is a very addictive and dangerous combination, often leading to both overdose and death. “Liquid O” is black tar heroin mixed with water, making it easy to conceal but difficult to identify, “Often our youths have no idea what they’re using until it’s too late,” stressed F/Lt. Sweeney. 

The newest trend is the mixing of heroin with fentanyl or carfentanil. Fentanyl is nearly 100 times more powerful then morphine and carfentanil is a shocking 10,000 times more potent.  “Plain and simple, these drugs can and will end your life”, commented F/Lt. Sweeney.

Besides the immediate risk to your life, heroin has long-term health effects as well, including heart, liver and kidney disease. It also increases your chances of contracting chronic diseases like HIV. 

Today, heroin comes in many forms and tell-tale signs like track marks may no longer clue you into someone’s use. The signs of heroin use vary among users but common signs include constricted pupils, acting drowsy, nausea and frequent respiratory infections. 

Please, if you or someone you know uses heroin, call 1-800-662-HELP for assistance.

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Man claims he spread HIV on purpose


David Smith

A Kent County man is in jail after telling police that that he has been sexually active and injecting drugs without disclosing his status.
Police say that David Dean Smith, 51, suggested that he was intentionally trying to spread the virus to as many people as possible, and that hundreds of people may have been exposed to HIV.
Smith allegedly made statements that suggested his activities may have included people from outside of the area, including individuals he met over the Internet. The man is currently being held in the Kent County Jail, charged with one count of “AIDS -sexual penetration with uninformed partner” (failing to disclose HIV status).
The Kent County Health Department is working with both Grand Rapids Police and the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the claims made by the man and tracking down potential victims. The man reportedly alerted one victim by text. A second warrant was filed in court on behalf of another victim Wednesday. Other victims will need to come forward in order for more charges to be leveled against Smith.
Lisa LaPlante, spokesperson for the Kent County Health Department, urges people who may have been exposed to get tested. “While the threat of transmission varies based on the activity, this is still an extremely serious public health concern.  Anyone who is concerned should immediately have his or her HIV status tested,” she said. The KCHD provides quick, safe, anonymous and confidential testing.  Call their Personal Health Services Clinic at 616.632.7171 for more information.

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