Sunday, February 18, 2018

Heroin and Opiate Update for Calhoun County, February 2018

This disturbing news is only softened with the knowledge that our county's Substance Abuse Council has 30 years of tracking with a thorough network of reliable information.  Other counties are just at the start of their programs, so their shocks will come as their connections increase.

These charts are for heroin/opiate overdoses that did not result in death.

The typical demographic is a white male, 20-30, for heroin/opiate overdose.  This year, the January numbers have this demographic nearly equally divided between male and female.  Also note that with the added controls placed on hydrocodone-based analgeics (the "Norco" or "Vicodin" prescriptions), the prescription opiate number is down, but the heroin use is up. 

Overall, the numbers continue to increase. 

The graphs come courtesy of the Calhoun County Substance Abuse Council, a group who generously offers me a seat at the table whenever my time at WMU permits.  It hardly seems like enough time. 

Note that the current reports are for an overdose per day.  In 2017, there were months where the death rate was one every three days.

I'll just let the numbers sink in.  There are many things to say, but if you live in Calhoun County, these are your neighbors, your co-workers, your children, your parents.  In 2018, there are several requirements being put in place to clamp down on physician prescribing patterns, which should slow the prescription opioids.  However, judging from these numbers, the users seem to make their downhill slide to heroin...and, as I say in my public presentations, there isn't a Walter White in any of those labs.

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