By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Authorities were alerted — via telephone call — to an unresponsive 18-year-old woman at a home on Army Road in Addison Township on Sunday, June 14. Despite attempts to resuscitate her, the woman never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 11:32 p.m.
Out of respect for the family’s privacy during this difficult time, the woman’s name will not be revealed in this article.
The victim had a lengthy history with substance abuse. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were found at the scene. She had previously dropped out of high school and was staying at the Army Road home, owned by her grandparents, to break her reliance on illegal substances and get her life back on track.
“The grandfather had called our dispatch center,” Addison Township Sergeant Keith Weir shared of the night’s events.
“He was given instructions on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and attempted to do so until the fire department and deputies arrived. Upon arrival, the fire department took over because the first thing is the safety of the individual, and the investigation began after that.”
An autopsy was performed on the woman, and the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s investigation is ongoing.
The toxicology report will determine the official cause of death, but Addison Township confirmed it is believed to be fentanyl-related.
A synthetic opioid, fentanyl is used in medical settings to treat chronic pain and as an anesthetic, when mixed with other medications. A Schedule II substance in the United States, it is listed as having a high likelihood of dependence and abuse.
The number of drug overdose deaths in Addison Township has decreased greatly thus far in 2020.
“This our first one this year,” Weir divulged. “First one this year, last year we had numerous ones, so the numbers have died down quite a bit.”
In addition to her grandparents, the woman is survived by her father, a fellow Addison Township resident, and her mother, who lives in Lapeer County.
If you or a loved one are battling your own substance abuse demons, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) offers a variety of treatment programs, and the Oakland County Substance Use hotline is available 24/7 at (248) 464-6363.
By Teddy Rydquist