An in-depth look at the opioid epidemic in West Michigan

Matt DeYoung • Aug 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM

West Michigan is a wonderful place to live — consistently ranking as one of the safest, healthiest and happiest places to call home.

But like most communities, our quiet little corner of the world is struggling with a crisis that is ravaging our nation — opioid abuse.

What are opioids? They’re drugs, often prescription painkillers. But they also include the illegal drug heroin.

Over the next week, we’ll take an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic in West Michigan. The series begins with a heart-wrenching story of a former drug user whose brother died of an overdose.

We’ll also look at what our local doctors, police, judges and schools are doing to address the problem. We’ll share resources that are available, and also talk to someone who has gone through the Ottawa County Drug Court to overcome their addiction.

We hope this series will open your eyes to the problem that’s taking place right in our own backyard, in hopes that raising awareness will help better prepare us to deal with the problem.

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