News Bite

Could Be More Lockdown Fallout: Opioid Overdoses Up 22%

‘I’ve seen far too many people die’ of overdoses, says state’s chief doctor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has mentioned how many lives she claims to have saved through her executive orders that have locked down the state since March 23.

But the chief medical executive for the state, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, may have unintentionally highlighted a darker side to Whitmer’s executive orders, which the governor hasn’t publicly recognized.

And that is increased drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.

“From April through July, EMS responses for opioid overdoses in the state were 22% higher than they were during the same time frame last year,” Khaldun said at a Sept. 2 press conference. “I’ve treated far too many people in the emergency department with opioid use disorder and I’ve seen far too many people die.”

What isn’t known is how much of the spike in drug use is because those people have lost their jobs or facing additional stress due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.