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Health, Science and Environment

Opioid-related deaths in Michigan up from 2017

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The number of opioid related deaths in Michigan went up in 2017, according to preliminary data.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports just under two thousand deaths in Michigan last year were tied to opioids. 

That's about two hundred more than the year before.

Spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin says better reporting on death certificates may be responsible for part of the increase;

“We adjusted our definition of opioids-related deaths to kind of fall in line with what the CDC is reporting. So that added opium and unspecified narcotics into our death count. So that did attribute to some of the increase.”

Last year, the state of Michigan pre-authorized distribution of a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.  

Pharmacies have dispensed more than ten thousand orders so far.