Opioid Overdoses in Michigan – Bridge Interview

opioid overdoses in Michigan - blue bridge

Thank you to Bridge Michigan, and reporter, Robin Erb, for including Sanford in her informed article on the state of opioid overdoes 2020. The article provides state data and reports from county medical examiners, showing a rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Michigan.


Why the Rise in Opioid-Related Overdoses?

It is understandable that overdoses are on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Isolation – Addiction treatment is based in group therapy, and community. And the isolation associated with the pandemic creates additional dangers to drug users.

Limited Support System – In-person treatment, doctor visits and emotional support has been limited.

Using Opioids Alone – Using drugs alone is always more dangerous than with others. Especially with no one available to attempt a revival in case of an overdose.

Lessening of Tolerance – Scarcity of drugs of choice, or loss of income could be a factor. If a drug user is unable to maintain their normal consumption, it lowers tolerance. And there is a higher risk of overdose.


What Can Be Done to Mitigate the COVID-19 Impact?

In March and April of 2020, Addiction Treatment and Behavioral Health organizations turned on a dime to provide telehealth and virtual treatment options. This includes outpatient programs, support groups, 12-step meetings, and therapy for those who are struggling with drugs or alcohol. But now, more than ever, those in recovery must self-advocate. And accept that “therapy and community” might come via smart phone or computer.


For the complete Bridge Michigan article, click below:



Opioid abuse surges in Michigan amid misery from the coronavirus


And for a library of virtual options, click below:

virtual recovery resources library

The Sanford Library of Virtual Recovery Resources






Sanford Behavioral Health is an addiction and co-occurring disorders, eating disorders and mental health treatment center. Sanford provides residential and outpatient programs in the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in home-like, restorative settings. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause behavioral health conditions, such as trauma, anxiety, unhealthy relationships, and isolation. Programs include both in-person and telehealth: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), education and relapse prevention classes, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups. At Sanford, we want to inspire you to find your inner grit, rekindle your interests and engage your passion.