Michigan says opioid-related deaths keep rising

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State officials say opioid deaths jumped by about 9 percent last year in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that 1,941 of the 2,729 overdose deaths in 2017 were opioid-related. There were 1,786 opioid-related deaths in 2016.

The state notes a steady increase in overdose deaths during the last three years.

Opioids include heroin, prescription opioids, and nonpharmaceutical fentanyl. The state now includes opium and unspecified narcotics in its definition.

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Efforts to combat the epidemic include providing online resources for patients, health workers and communities; an automated prescription system aimed at improving assessments of a patient’s substance abuse risk; and drug take-back sites.

The department last year issued a standing order pre-authorizing pharmacists to distribute the overdose reversal drug naloxone to eligible individuals.



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