The rate of opioid overdose deaths doubled among Black residents over a recent five-year period. Suicide rates jumped 88 percent. Advocates say isolation, treatment disparities and the ubiquity of fentanyl in street drugs are behind the increases.
Overdose deaths for opioids and other drugs fell in 2018, the first drop since 2012, with state policies restricting painkiller prescriptions cited. But drug deaths for black residents spiked in Michigan.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoes in the Michigan budget included funds for Andy’s Place, an opioid recovery project near Jackson that she endorsed months ago. The planned facility is in the district of Republican budget and political foe Mike Shirkey.
Treatment officials argue that state regulatory changes could close detox centers and force layoffs. State officials counter that centers need full-time doctors and certified providers to ensure patient safety.