Detroit Free Press: Prescription Drug Deaths Soar in Michigan

Submitted on Jul 28, 2011

The Detroit Free Press reported in a front page story on July 11, 2011, that more residents now die from prescription drug abuse than from heroin and cocaine combined. This data is from 2009, the latest year data are available; 457 Michiganders died of overdoses from one or more prescription drugs, up from 409 deaths the year before.Larry Scott, manager of the prevention section of Michigan’s Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction is quoted stating: “We’re seeing an alarming trend that continues to increase.”

The article goes on to state: Health officials and others say the drugs are easier to get now, and the rise mirrors rocketing rates of prescriptions written by doctors and dentists.Nearly one in four seeking emergency care in Michigan for the abuse was younger than 25, particularly alarming because prescription drugs are a gateway to heroin and are being mixed by teens and young  adults in potentially lethal combinations to get a more intense high, substance abuse experts say.