drug overdose

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Work to reduce opioid-related deaths is beginning across the state, as part of a $10 million investment to fight the opioid epidemic.

 

Michigan ranks in the top 15 for drug overdose deaths, according to 2018 figures from the Center for Disease Control.

 

Director of Drug Use Initiatives at Vital Strategies Daliah Heller says not enough communities have access to naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. 

The list of who can administer emergency opioid overdose medication in Michigan could grow.

Max Johnston

Last year nearly 3,000 people died from drug overdoses in Michigan. That was an 80 percent increase in the past five years. There is a form of treatment that could help.

It involves prescribed medication to fight addiction and has been called the “gold standard” for opioid treatment. But it can be hard to find in northern Michigan.

Mike Lober was addicted to painkillers and heroin for 40 years. He says he was constantly chasing his next fix.

The latest designer drugs are just a few mouse clicks away, easily ordered from Chinese websites.

Powerful synthetic drugs like bath salts and Flakka are making their way into the country.

Victor Fitz, president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, explains that designer drugs are created in response to the country’s stringent drug laws.