Michigan Reports “Substantial Increase” Of Opioid Overdoses During Pandemic

Jul 30, 2020

Credit TRACY LEE FOR NPR

Michigan emergency services say they have seen a “substantial increase” in opioid overdoses during the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to data released from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, emergency services saw a 26% increase in opioid overdoses between April and June of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. 

Lynn Sutfin is a spokesperson for the department. 

“Some of it is folks being isolated and folks not being around. It is a stressful time whether it’s financial, health concerns, it can lead to an increase of opioids for those who have issues with that.”

For residents not ready to seek help Sutfin said the state is urging users to be safe. 

“So don’t do it alone. You can contact never use alone which is a service somebody can call while using drugs and they’ll have someone who is on the line with them or who will call them back if they can’t get ahold of them or call EMS to that individual’s home.”

Sutfin said users can also request free naloxone from the state.