NAFTA – Drug overdoses killed more than 93,000 Americans in 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths on record in a year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
While the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has not reported any overdose deaths in Alpena County in the past 12 months, a drug overdose has resulted in 73 Alpena County emergency room visits since July 2020 .
Overdose emergencies increased in the county in October, when that month’s 12 overdoses doubled the previous month’s total.
The county reported no overdoses in December, February or March, but recorded 26 more overdoses in the spring and early summer of this year.
The state website has only provided information on emergency room visits since July 2020.
Three in five of the 93,000 deaths in the country last year were from fentanyl – a drug often added to methamphetamine and other illegal substances distributed in Alpena and fatal in trace amounts, police said.
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The immediate availability of naloxone – a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose – reduces overdose deaths, according to Larry LaCross, clinical supervisor for the Eastern Region of Catholic Human Services.
The drug allows anyone in the community to provide immediate and life-saving assistance in the event of an opioid overdose, LaCross said, likening the drug to automated external defibrillators in public spaces where people might have heart attacks. .
Nine pharmacies in Alpena County, or 78% of the county’s licensed pharmacies, have a standing order for naloxone, according to the state. In the past 12 months, community organizations, behavioral health services, local health departments and first responders in Alpena County have ordered 816 naloxone kits from the state.
“We have more flexible and available clinical and community supports for recovery and treatment than ever before,” said LaCross. “It is essential that we focus on connecting these resources to the people who need them more than ever. “
Alpena County last reported one overdose death to the state in 2019, when four people died from overdose. Thirty-six Northeast Michiganders died from overdoses between 2015 and 2019, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.