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Michigan Overwhelmed By Prescription Drug Addiction

Michigan is not immune to the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has gripped this country. More residents in Michigan now die from prescription drug abuse than from heroin and cocaine combined. In 2009, 459 residents of Michigan died from prescription drug overdoses. That is 48 more prescription drug overdoses than in the previous year. “We’re seeing an alarming trend that continues to increase,” said Larry Scott, the manager of the prevention section of Michigan’s Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction. Nearly one in four people seeking emergency care in Michigan were younger than 25 years of age. This is especially disturbing because it is known that prescription drugs are a gateway to heroin use. Prescription drugs are also being mixed by teenagers and young adults in dangerous combination to achieve a more intensified high.  More people in Michigan are now dying every year from prescription drug overdoses than both cocaine and heroin together. Those addicted to prescription drugs are now taxing an already overwhelmed treatment system in the state.  “We have people in the double digits for attempts at rehab,” said Dr. Mark Menestrina, a substance abuse physician at Brighton Hospital, a leading drug treatment center in the state.

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