The following was originally published on the World Socialist Website by Niles Niemuth, a Socialist Equality Party Candidate for Congress.
A new report has revealed the horrific impact of the opioid crisis across Michigan, which requires an emergency response.
The report, produced by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Appriss Health, found a 30 percent increase in drug-related overdose deaths in Michigan between 2013 and 2015. Most of these deaths were from opioids, a class of drug that includes illegal forms such as heroin, as well as many pharmaceutical forms used to treat pain, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone (known by the brand names Vicodin and OxyContin, respectively).
The report shows that six of the top ten cities for overdose deaths in the state were in Downriver, the 18 suburban Michigan cities and townships southwest of Detroit. The six cities are Lincoln Park, Wyandotte, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Woodhaven and Southgate. The community of Lincoln Park topped the overdose death rate among Michigan cities with 3.2 deaths per 1,000 people. In total deaths, Detroit topped Michigan cities, with 447 fatal overdoses over three years. However, its death rate was a third of Lincoln Park’s...