HARPER WOODS (WWJ) – Two men have been found dead in Harper Woods from an apparent drug overdose.

Police say the discovery was made around 7 p.m. Tuesday at a home in the 21000 block of Van Antwerp, near I-94 and Vernier Road.

Harper Woods Public Safety Chief Jim Burke said officers were called to a home by the victims’ families. Inside, they found the two men, in their 30s, both dead. Their names have not yet been released. One is a Harper Woods resident, the other is a Roseville resident.

Investigators say foul play is not apparent, though a cause of death is being determined by the medical examiner.

Burke said 36 heroin overdoses have been reported this year in Harper Woods, resulting in nine deaths.

“I know three different families just in the last six months that have lost a person in their 20s that had overdosed,” he said.

The drug problem isn’t limited to households, either. Burke said people are actually overdosing while in their cars or worse, while they’re on the road driving.

“I think our locale, just in a major urban area and people get off at 8 Mile and think they’re out of Detroit, think they’re safe. We’ve had a bunch of people in our gas stations, fast food restaurants, pull over and take drugs,” he said. “We just had one two weeks ago. A man passed out behind the wheel, it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, right near a school. Fortunately he kept his foot on the brake, but he OD’d right in his car. Our officers arrived, recognized the symptoms, administered Narcan and saved his life.”

Burke said all of his officers carry Narcan, an emergency drug treatment for known or suspected opioid overdoses, which has become a useful tool in combating the drug epidemic.

“If we can get to the person in time we administer the Narcan and it’s almost an immediate reversal of the serious effects,” he said.

Burke is encouraging those who are addicted, or who know someone addicted to opiods, to call for help through the department’s Hope Not Handcuffs program, which offers free screening and treatment placement. [Click here for more information]

“If anyone is suffering from opoid addiction, they can just come to our station or any police station in Macomb County and ask for help. There will be no law enforcement activity at all,” he said. “I would just encourage anybody that has a family member of if themselves are suffering from opoid addiction to seek help. It’s a nationwide epidemic and the number of fatalities is just horrendous.”


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