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Overdoses stretching Grand Rapids-area medical examiner

August 28, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A medical examiner in a western Michigan county is seeking an additional $470,000 to keep up with autopsies and other tasks related to the rising number of opioid overdoses.

Dt. Stephen Cohle (COAL) says his staff “is just worn to a nub” as a result of opioid-related deaths in Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids. He says his office investigated 156 drug overdoses in 2017, up 67 percent over 2016.

Cohle predicts the 2018 numbers will be higher.

He tells The Grand Rapids Press that calls come in at all hours. Many investigators work part-time. Cohle hopes county leaders will provide money for him to hire at least one more part-time investigator.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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