Authorities are warning the public about the risks of heroin use, following a rash of overdoses.

14 people have overdosed on opiates in Calhoun County just in the past week, with four of them being fatal.  To combat this problem, all police officers in the county now carry a kit with the overdose antidote Narcan; the same drug that saved the life of a man on Monday after he overdosed in the bathroom of a downtown Battle Creek business.

Officials aren’t sure about what exactly is causing the spike in deaths, but they do say that the increase in heroin use is possibly tied to prescription pain pill addiction.  People get addicted to a drug prescribed to them, then move to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to obtain.

The Substance Abuse Council will hold a class for the public later this month on using Narcan to treat overdoses, with free Narcan kits available.

Calhoun Co. Sheriff Matt Saxton will be on the Richard Piet Show Friday, February 5 at 8am to discuss the heroin problem.