Southeastern Michigan Drug Death Rates On The Rise, Trend Similar to State and Nation-wide Problem

Between 2010 and 2015 Wayne County experienced the largest rate increase for drug-induced deaths in Southeastern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. In 2010 the rate for drug-induced deaths in Wayne County was 22.4 per 100,000 people and by 2015 that increased to 36.1 per 100,000 people. In Detroit, the drug-induced death rate increased by 9.4; in 2010 the rate was reported at 22.3 per 100,000 people and in 2015 it was reported to be 31.7 per 100,000 people.

Monroe County was the only other in the region to experience an increase above 10 per 100,000 between 2010 and 2015 was Monroe County. In 2010 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was 19.7 per 100,000 people, and by 2015 it had increased to 32.1 per 100,000 people, meaning there was a 12.4 rate increase.

In addition to showing rate changes between 2010 and 2015 we have also created maps that show the rate changes in five-year increments between 2000 and 2005 and 2005 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2005 Monroe County was the only county in the region to experience a rate increase above 10. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was reported at 4.1 per 100,000 people and by 2005 increased to 17.1 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 the rate increase for Monroe County was much smaller at 2.6, however the data shows drug-induced death rates in Monroe County and throughout the region have continued to increase since 2000.

Between 2000 and 2015 the overall drug-induced death rate increase for Monroe County was 28, and for Wayne County that rate increase was reported at 18.2. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Wayne County was reported to be 18.2 per 100,000 people, by 2005 it increased to 22 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 there was a slight rate decrease of .3, but by 2015 the rate peaked at 36.1 per 100,000 people (the highest in the region).

Also between 2005 and 2010 in Detroit there was a drug-induced death rate decrease; this decrease was reported at 3.7 (in 2005 the rate was reported at 26 and in 2010 it was reported at 22.3). However, like the seven counties in the region, Detroit experienced drug-induced death rate increases between 2010 and 2015 of 9.4 per 100,000 residents, and overall since 2000 an increase of 9.1.

An overall increase in drug-induced death rates is not unique to Southeastern Michigan. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, 2015 was the third straight year the State of Michigan experienced an increase in the drug-induced death rate. In 2015 the rate was reported at 22.3, compared to a rate of 20.5 in 2014, 18.3 in 2013 and 16.4 in 2012. Throughout the country, according to a recent Free Press article, there were 19 states (Michigan being one of them) that experienced an increase in drug-induced death rates. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reported that of the 52,404 drug overdose deaths in 2015, 63 percent of them were related to opioids. In Michigan, according to the Free Press article, about 45 percent of the drug related deaths in the state were related to opioids and about 20 percent involved heroin.

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