Opioid-related deaths on the rise in Ingham County

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By Andrew Merkle
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

The Ingham County Health Department reported that opioid-related deaths have increased by nearly 66 percent over the last five years after a relatively constant rate from 2003-2010.

Opioid-related deaths have been increasing at an alarming rate in Ingham County in recent years. Source: Ingham County Health Department.

Opioid-related deaths have been increasing at an alarming rate in Ingham County in recent years. Source: Ingham County Health Department.

Heroin is the most common narcotic among the 50 opioid-related deaths in Ingham County last year, according to the Ingham County Health Department.

Ingham County is not an anomaly, either. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin-related overdose deaths had nearly quadrupled nationwide between 2002 and 2013, with more than 8,200 such deaths occurring in 2013.

As the county and nation are seeing an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths, it should surprise no one that the state of Michigan has seen an increased rate in opioid-related hospitalizations as well.

Opioids are now causing more hospitalizations per 10,000 residents than cocaine and amphetamines combined. Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Opioids are now causing more hospitalizations per 10,000 residents than cocaine and amphetamines combined. Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The state has seen a sharp drop in the number of hospitalized persons due to cocaine since its peak in 2006, and around that time is when opiates began to outpace cocaine as the leading narcotic to cause hospitalizations.

In fact, in 2011 opioids caused more hospitalizations in the state of Michigan than cocaine and amphetamines combined.

The Ingham County Health Department’s full report can be found here.

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