Study shows meth, cocaine, opioids are trending drugs


11/3/17 – Kalamazoo, Michigan: Forensic Fluids Laboratories. © Chris McGuire Photography.

Drug use is on the rise in almost all Michigan counties, according to a Michigan-based oral fluid testing lab, Forensic Fluids Laboratories.

Some counties and regions showed trends of Methamphetamine and Buprenorphine.

The number of counties showing high positive rates for Methamphetamine increased significantly — from 10 counties in 2015 to 46 counties in 2018.

“The data we collected through oral fluid testing is a strong indicator of the drug usage trends in both rural and urban counties throughout the Midwest,” toxicologist and Laboratory Director of Forensic Fluids Laboratories Lorenz Lemberg said.

The western and central Lower Peninsula and the western Upper Peninsula saw the largest increase of high positive Methamphetamine rate counties.

Metro Detroit showed a low positive Methamphetamine rate of 1 percent, while the northernmost parts of the Upper Peninsula (Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw) saw positive Methamphetamine rates of 25 percent (Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw).

Additionally, Buprenorphine is moving toward higher rates in counties of the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction, acute pain, and chronic pain.

“By providing a deeper insight of drug use from state-to-state, we hope our data becomes a beneficial resource for local governing officials and law enforcement agencies as they work to address concerns in their communities,” Lorenz said.

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