WASHTENAW COUNTY (WWJ) — Drug overdoses are on the rise in Washtenaw County, including 23 deaths over the past 5 months.

Heroin overdoses are the main culprit, but law enforcement is warning that the opiate may be tainted with Fentanyl, a much stronger painkiller that is prescribed to cancer patients that is 15 to 20 times more potent than heroin.

READ MORE: MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance For Michigan Schools

Director Derrick Jackson with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department told WWJ Newsradio 950 that family members should be on lookout for loved ones who are addicts.

“Sometimes we think of addiction as like just one day they’re addicted, but sometimes it can be a slow, steady process and then before you know it, before you realize it, your young person or your family member is addicted,” Jackson said. “Once you’re addicted it’s so difficult to change those habits and those abilities.”

[RELATED: Suspected Drug Dealer Nicknamed ‘Hillbilly’ Arrested In Connection With Overdose Deaths]

READ MORE: More Than 100 Michigan Schools Close Due To Copycat Threats After Oxford High Shooting

Most of the people going to the hospital with heroin overdoses are typically white men in their early 30s. Jackson said that dealers have been adding Fentanyl to the mix lately, and it’s become and increasingly troublesome issue.

“Out of 23 overdose deaths, seven of them have had traces of Fentanyl within their system and two of them were pure Fentanyl — there was no heroin, no nothing,” Jackson said. “It was like they were injecting pure Fentanyl, which is obviously deadly and dangerous.”

[MORE: Drugs Laced With Fentanyl Linked To Over 70 Deaths In Southeast Michigan]

Jackson said that opioid overdoses have increased every year over the past three.

MORE NEWS: Parents Of Oxford Shooting Suspect Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter, Authroities Searching For Them

“Using a substance where you have no idea what’s going into your body makes it that much more dangerous,” Jackson said.