Painkiller And Heroin Overdoses On The Rise In Michigan

There are so many people addicted to drugs these days, and heroin and painkillers are the number one drugs that people are addicted to. In fact, painkiller and heroin overdoses are on the rise in Michigan by 14 percent.

According to the Detroit Free Press, in 2014, heroin and painkiller overdoses claimed the lives of 1,745 people. This is according to the data that was released today. This is an increase, statewide, from 1,535 in 2013 up to 1,745 just one year later. This was continuing the upward trend from 2012 and keeps going up every year. Not only this, but, drug overdoses were the number one cause of death back then. This data was released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The data states that the overdose trend wasn’t just in one location in Michigan, but statewide, including the rich, the poor, urban, and rural. The state says they are seeking the public’s help for this drug overdose epidemic.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who is the chairman of Michigan’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, had this to say about the prescription drug and heroin problem in the state.

“We are coming together to reverse this trend that is hurting Michigander’s across every geographic and demographic category. No family is immune to this, so all families must come together to fight the stigma of addiction and know that it’s OK to ask for help.”

According to the data that was released from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 132 deaths happened in Detroit in 2014. In Wayne County, besides Detroit, 322 deaths happened that year alone from drug overdoses. Oakland County counted 127 deaths, 249 deaths occurred in Macomb County, and 65 deaths happened in Washtenaw County.

The report and data states that the heroin overdoses and deaths were three times higher in men than in women in 2014. Not only this but the rate for heroin overdose deaths were highest among the younger adults between the ages of 25 to 34.

Although these overdose deaths were high in 2014, previously, before 2012, the overdose deaths from heroin and prescription drugs had been less. However, since then, the deaths from these drugs have increased. For example, during 1999, there were 455 drug overdose deaths from these drugs versus in 2014 when there were 1,700 alone.

The Detroit Free Press also states that not only law enforcement officials but health and legal officials are trying to fight the prescription pain killer and heroin use among drug addicts. And they aren’t just going after the street pushers who are selling them on the street. They are also going after crooked pharmacists and doctors who are giving them out like they are candy. The street dealers are getting up to $100 per pill from people addicted to them, and when the pills get too expensive and they can’t afford them anymore, or if they aren’t getting them high anymore, they turn to heroin which is cheaper and will get them higher faster.

Law enforcement officials are hitting drug dealers so hard for selling prescription painkillers on the street that they are making sure that they actually get life in prison for their actions. This is especially if they sell something and someone dies from what they sold. People are dying from the heroin faster because the drug dealers are now lacing the heroin with fentanyl, a painkiller 15 to 20 times stronger than any other painkiller on the market.

People are dying from these drugs fast. In fact, one man bought a tenth of a gram of heroin from a drug dealer one night and was found the next day, by his mother, dead in his room with the syringe still in his hand.

It is so easy to become addicted to painkillers, according to the report. This is especially true when people get painkillers prescribed to them after an accident, sports injury, surgery or dental work. However, once the high from the painkillers goes away or they can’t afford the painkillers anymore, this is when they go to heroin, which is a lot worse, according to the report, but a lot cheaper.

People take a huge risk when buying heroin from strangers on the street because it could be mixed with anything and they never know what it could be laced with.

Although painkillers are addictive, they can help to an extent if taken the right way. If you do need to take painkillers, make sure to be careful with them, do not overdo them, and only take them when you need them and they will help ease your pain.

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]