Why is Substance Abuse in Michigan Increasing?
The overall rate of substance abuse over the years is only one aspect that is concerning within the state. The rate of illicit drug usage over the course of a month is high enough to show a disturbing trend.
Those drugs that were abused do not include marijuana, which is the most commonly abused illicit substance within the state.
Due to the high averages, it is not surprising that the state is trying to find realistic solutions to fight against addiction. Even though the standards are high, it is likely that the rate of substance abuse will continue to rise as the latest data suggests that the state is seeing an upward trend in illicit drug abuse.
Commonly Abused Drugs in Michigan
Although substance abuse is not limited to a particular drug, certain substances are more common within the state of Michigan.
The drugs that are commonly abused include:
- Prescription opiates
Although marijuana is the most commonly abused substance in the state, it is followed closely by heroin and other opiates. Alcohol is also often abused and has shown an increased rate of abuse from 2005.
While methamphetamine drugs are not the most commonly abused substances within the state of Michigan, the number of labs creating the substances are increasing.
The number of labs that have been shut down by police has increased by 290 percent, which suggests that the drug is more readily available and might create problems in the future.
Availability Reason for Abuse
The growth of drug addiction within the state of Michigan has brought up reasons that residents are abusing the drugs.
Alcohol has always been readily available, and adults over the age of 21 can legally purchase the substance. The easy availability makes it possible for adults to abuse the substance and makes it easy for teenagers to acquire the drinks by asking older friends or stealing from adults.
The abuse of prescription opiate medications, which is an area of growth in drug addiction, is not always purposeful. Opioid medications are provided by medical doctors for legitimate reasons. The feeling of pain after an injury or a chronic medical condition can result in a prescription for the drug.
Although the prescription is often legitimate, it makes the drug easy to obtain. Individuals who are not prescribed the drug can find opiates in a place of storage for those who are given the medication for legitimate reasons. In some cases, the drug is abused when it is taken in a way that deviates from the instructions of a medical professional.
Regardless of the situation, the availability of medication and alcohol plays a role in the growth of substance abuse in Michigan.
Substance abuse is a complicated problem and addiction develops for a broad range of reasons.
When substances are used for stress relief or to help reduce emotional pain, it only makes the situation worse. The drugs can alter the way the mind can handle stressful situations and makes even small challenges seem insurmountable. When the smallest challenges cause a certainty that hope is not possible, it becomes tempting to abuse drugs or alcohol to forget about those problems.
The challenges within the state partially contribute to the growing problem. When the state is struggling economically, budget cuts can reduce the ability of preventative programs from working effectively.
State-Wide Efforts to Reduce Drug Abuse Rates
As reports and statistical facts showed that residents of the state were increasingly turning to substance abuse as a solution, measures were taken to help reduce those rates. Although the state is still in recovery from economic challenges, the action plan set forth by the White House has provided the opportunity to take action.
A major method of reducing the availability of prescription opiates and similar drugs is the state take-back program. The state offers secure ways to get rid of unneeded medications after an injury or illness has healed. Since the prescriptions are no longer in the house, it is not tempting to those who are in the house.
The police have taken measures to close down methamphetamine labs, which also help to reduce the rate of substance abuse within the state. Illicit substances are not as readily available when the police find and eliminate the labs that are creating synthetic drugs.
Prescription drug monitoring is another way that the state is working to reduce the rate of substance abuse. The program helps track prescriptions that are dispensed by medical professionals so that only the patient can obtain the medications and only for legitimate reasons. It monitors the actions of medical professionals as well as the reasons for providing controlled substances.
Substance abuse in Michigan was on the rise but the state is taking measures to reduce the rates and get the situation back under control. Despite the figures, there is hope that the state will see improvements in the future.