It appears that Calhoun County’s opioid problem continues to worsen.

The Calhoun County Health Department conducted a study of opioid prescribing rates, overdoses resulting in emergency room visits, and opioid overdose deaths, and they say that a key takeaway is the impact of fentanyl. The study shows that in 2015, there were 6 fentanyl-related deaths in the County; in 2017, there were 31.

Fentanyl is a particularly potent opioid that is sometimes found illegally sold as other, less deadly drugs.

The Health Department says that in Calhoun County in 2016, opioids were prescribed at nearly twice the national average; other points in the report include the total opioid related death rate in 2016 being 1.72 times higher in Calhoun County than in Michigan, and the fact that more people die of a drug-related overdose in Calhoun County than of motor vehicle accidents.

The full, 32-page report can be found below.

The Health Department says that anyone suffering from substance use disorder should get in contact with resources in Calhoun County such as Summit Pointe, and the Calhoun County Opioid Coalition.

Those at risk or those with loved ones at risk can also get access to the anti-overdose drug Naloxone without a prescription from a participating pharmacy; in Battle Creek, that includes the Rite Aid on North Ave. and the Walgreens on Columbia Ave.

Other pharmacies can be found by following the MDHHS link here.

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