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Overdose deaths dip by 4% in Michigan, CDC finds

Darwin Brandis/Darwin Brandis - stock.adobe.com

The CDC’s latest data on provisional overdose-related deaths indicate a promising trend for Michigan — a 4% decline.

This trend contrasts with the reported national 0.5% uptick from 2021 to 2022.

Michigan has not demonstrated an annual decline like this since before the pandemic in 2019.

Jared Welehodsky, an overdose strategy leader for the state’s health department, says Michigan is actively working to make this latest trend last.

"One of the biggest things we feel has made a big impact has been going all-in to support harm reduction efforts across the state,” said Welehodsky. “That [includes] improving access to Naloxone and expanding syringe-service programs across the state over the last five years."

The CDC says opioids were the leading cause of overdose deaths across the country.

Michigan mirrored this trend, with cocaine as the second-most common contributor.

Welehodsky says harm reduction is essential in developing sustainable solutions for the overdose epidemic.

"Those engaged in harm reduction programs are five times more likely to seek treatment,” said Welehodsky. “Just having that direct connection with people is key to our efforts to reduce overdose deaths."

Welehodsky says money from a federal settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors could help Michigan invest in long-term solutions.

He says that is why the state is investing in a resource infrastructure for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery.

Priya Vijayakumar started her Newsroom Internship in January 2023. She is interested in science/health reporting and making the facts more accessible to all!
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