As in communities across the U.S., Bay City faces a crisis with drug overdoses.

Public Safety Deputy Director Edward Bromberg says it’s at epidemic proportions. Bromberg said so far this year, seven people have died from an overdose in the city. He said there were 12 overdose deaths in Bay City in 2018.

Bromberg wants people suffering with a drug problem to come to the Law Enforcement Center at 503 3rd St. to seek help without fear of facing criminal charges. A volunteer “Angel” will assist in overcoming their addiction.

Bromberg said 83 people have sought help through the Hope Not Handcuffs program in the Great Lakes Bay Region. He said some are making progress in kicking their habit while others are having problems.

Mayor Kathleen Newsham has declared Saturday, August 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day in the city. Newsham’s proclamation, approved by the Bay City Commission on August 19, noted that more Americans die from a drug overdose each year than in the worse years of HIV/AIDS, car crashes or gun violence.