Prescription drug deaths soar in Michigan

Drug News

Michigan, like the nation, is experiencing a troubling increase in prescription drug abuse — medicines for pain, hyperactivity and anxiety are triggering a rise in emergency hospital visits, overdose deaths and treatment for addiction.

In Michigan, more residents now die from prescription drug abuse than from heroin and cocaine combined, a federal registry shows. In 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.

“We’re seeing an alarming trend that continues to increase,” said Larry Scott, manager of the prevention section of Michigan’s Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction.