With sprawling urban areas, a lot of poverty, and plenty of rural land, Michigan has all the components that lead to high rates of drug abuse.

While many substances are abused, some are far more common than others. Treatment admissions in the state topped 76,000 for the year of 2018, and thousands more people suffer from addictions and drug issues in Michigan without getting treatment.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 most abused drugs for Michigan right now:

#1: Heroin

Of all drugs, heroin appears to be one of the most widely abused in the state of Michigan right now. More than one-quarter of all substance abuse treatment admissions for the state in 2018 were due to heroin use. Heroin use has risen across the nation in recent years.

As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate areas of the country, many addicts turn to heroin when they can no longer find the pain pills they have become addicted to. Heroin is cheaper and, in most areas, easier to find as doctors prescribe less and less opioid pain relievers.

Let’s take a look at the gut-wrenching stats about heroin use in Michigan:

  • More than 22,500 people got treatment for heroin abuse in the state in 2018.
  • Deaths involving heroin rose steadily every year from 2012-2017, with 783 deaths in MI in 2017.
  • Men struggle with heroin abuse far more than women in Michigan; over 60% of heroin treatment admissions in 2018 were men.

#2: Alcohol

Alcohol abuse goes largely unnoticed in many cases. People tend to forget that alcohol is a drug, let alone the most deadly one in the country. In Michigan, things are no different. Alcohol abuse has a crippling effect on many Michigan communities.

Let’s go over some of the stats that tell the true story of alcohol abuse in Michigan:

  • From 1999 – 2015, 13,341 people in MI died from illnesses caused by alcohol abuse. Three-quarters of these deaths were men.
  • In 2015 in Michigan, over 1200 people died or got a serious injury during a car crash involving alcohol.
  • More than 20% of adults in MI are ‘heavy drinkers’ as defined by the CDC.
  • About 19% of Michigan residents are binge drinkers, which is the 10th-highest rate for any state in the country.

#3: Prescription Opioids

Like many other areas of the country, Michigan has been hard-hit by the opioid crisis. Prescription pain pills are causing huge problems for the state, and leading to thousands of overdose deaths.

Here are some of the most shocking stats regarding prescription opioids in the state of Michigan:

  • In 2018, 2,599 people died from drug overdose in the state of Michigan—more than the number of people who died in car crashes. Most of these deaths were due to prescription opioid abuse.
  • Opioid prescriptions peaked around 100 per 100 people in MI in 2013. Since then, they have fallen to about 85 per 100 people in 2018. Still, overdose deaths from these drugs have continued to rise.
  • From 1999-2018 overdose deaths from opioids increased from 115 deaths to 2,036.

#4: Marijuana

As of January 2020, pot is now legal for recreational use in Michigan. The state is following in the footsteps of others who have legalized weed in recent years. Although marijuana use is becoming more socially accepted, people often fail to understand that the drug can lead to abuse, addiction, and many other issues.

Here are some stats regarding marijuana use in Michigan that are important to know:

  • In 2018, more than 6,000 people checked into substance abuse treatment in Michigan due to issues with pot.
  • In 2015, almost 10% of all arrests involved cannabis.
  • 15% of Michiganders used pot in the past year, according to a recent survey.

#5: Amphetamines

Amphetamines, including meth and prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, are very addictive drugs. These ‘uppers’, as many users call them, give a euphoric high which is followed by an intense crash, leaving users craving more. People can become addicted to these drugs very quickly, and soon one’s entire life can become focused around getting more uppers.

Here are the stats on amphetamine abuse in Michigan:

  • More than 3,300 people checked into treatment in 2018 in Michigan due to amphetamine abuse.
  • A recent Michigan-based survey found that over 25% of students used Adderall. Most of them did not have a prescription for the drug.
  • Amphetamines are one of the only drugs in MI that appear to be abused more by women than by men.
  • People aged 26-35 were most likely to use these drugs in MI.

Get Treatment for Drug Abuse

If you are one of the thousands suffering from drug abuse in Michigan, you are not alone. Treatment centers around the state can help you overcome your addiction and get your life back.

If you need help, call Rehab Adviser today. It is likely to be the most important call you ever make.


  1. 12 facts about drinking in Michigan. (2017, July 3). Retrieved from https://www.mlive.com/news/2017/07/post_114.html
  2. DASIS Quick Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/webt/newmapv1.htm#
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, March 29). Michigan Opioid Summary. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state/michigan-opioid-summary
  4. Opioid Resources – Opioid Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.michigan.gov/opioids/
  5. Survey finds that 24 percent of University students use Adderall. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.michigandaily.com/section/research/adderall-used-24-university-students

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