The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently urged anyone with opioid use disorder to carry naloxone and take steps to prevent overdose deaths.
“Opioid overdoses kill far too many Michiganders, and it’s a double tragedy that the pandemic has exacerbated this crisis,” Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, chief deputy for health and chief medical executive, said. “If you or someone you love has an opioid use disorder, please take steps to prevent overdose deaths – like carrying naloxone and never using alone.”
EMS responses for opioid overdoses increased 33 percent from April to May, according to MDHHS. When compared to last year, responses increased 26 percent. Overdoses increased for all demographic groups except residents 65 years and older.
Compared to the same period last year, patients were more likely to refuse transportation to the hospital in April through June, increasing from 7.7 percent to 14.3 percent.
During the pandemic, white Michiganders were more like to refuse transportation and more likely to overdose, according to MDHHS.
Overall, though, African Americans have a higher opioid overdose rate. Monthly EMS response rates were 219.8 per 100,000 residents between April and June, compared to 123.4 among white residents.
Hospital visits for opioid overdoses increased in May and June.