PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County Sheriff’s officials say illegal drugs are to blame for three deaths within a seven hour span Wednesday in Pontiac.

The victims were a 24-year-old Waterford man found dead in his car in the parking lot of the McDonald’s on Woodward at South Blvd., a 31-year-old Waterford man found dead in his bed, and a 32-year-old mother found slumped over her sink while her baby slept in a bedroom upstairs. The child in the latter case the baby was not injured … and is now staying with a relative.

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Each died of an overdose, according to Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

The Sheriff’s Forensic Lab on Thursday ran tests on drugs found at each scene to determine whether a particular additive could be blamed for the deaths.

But, as it turns out, it does not appear the drugs and the cases are connected.

“There was heroin in one case — very, very high-grade pure heroin,” Bouchard told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil. “So that’s what probably cause that individual to die.”

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“In the other two cases it was cocaine; and then one of those two cases it was also a combination with a very potent and potentially deadly drug called fentanyl,” he said.

Meantime, with the incidence of heroin deaths on the rise — doubling over the past two years alone —  the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with a new warning, and it’s not just teenagers.

The largest increase in overdose deaths are among people 45 to 54 years old.

“People are self-medicating,” said Dr. Michael Feld, an emergency medicine specialist at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield, which hosted a forum on the heroin epidemic.

“And what starts out abusing prescription medications, which is a very expensive habit, individuals turn to heroin because it’s much cheaper to acquire,” said Feld, “and I presume that people are buying it off the street illegally.”

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