Warren hit hard by heroin epidemic

When asked if Warren has a heroin problem, the city’s Mayor Jim Fouts responds, “The United States has a Heroin problem."

Check out these numbers: 161 overdoses in 2015, 200 last year. That's not the worst. 

“There were seven deaths in 2015, we had 32 in 2016 that's nearly a 500% increase, which is very frightening,” said Fouts.

Soon, any addict can go to the Warren Police Department for help, including hospitalization or counseling if they give up their needles.

“We just cannot continue to allow many people, who would otherwise be decent, productive citizens fall prey to the drug pushers and end up losing their life because of heroin addiction."

Some residents agree the heroin problem must stop. But where's it coming from?

“It's coming across 8 mile. Because Warren leads from 8 Mile to Van Dyke, they can get on the bus and crossover to 8 mile and come back," said Mary Beth Hofbauer, a concerned Warren resident.

The Mayor says neighboring cities do seem to attract heroin, but he says, there is a significant problem in Detroit.

“Detroit has a lot of vacant empty homes, there's a lot of drug houses in Detroit, there's not enough police, there's not enough wherewithal."

“They should be taken off the streets and be involved in some type of program to help them understand that heroin is not the right thing to do," said Jamelia Dunlap, a Warren resident.

When asked if Warren police will be sent into Detroit, Fouts said, “We did it last year. I'm not sure if we're going to do it this year, or how we’re going to do it. The focus is that drug houses are not limited to Warren."

This story was about Warren’s heroin epidemic, but we did not ignore the recent controversy involving the mayor. Audio recordings were leaked of Fouts allegedly making derogatory comments about people with special needs.

We asked Fouts if he had anything to say about that.

“Right now I'm focused on heroin and other issues and that’s what I’ll continue to focus on. I encourage people, if they have a concern, or if they know about a drug house, call me up and I'll get on it right away.”

Fouts declined to comment on the recordings.

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