For the first time in six years, the number of drug overdose deaths in Michigan fell slightly in 2018.
A report released Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services indicated 2,599 Michiganders died from overdoses last year – a drop of slightly more than three percent.
More than three-quarters of the deaths were opioid-related.
The report also noted a growing racial disparity. Opioid overdose rates among black residents increased nearly 20 percent, while rates for white residents fell six percent, and rates for residents of other backgrounds fell nine percent.
Officials say the number of opioid deaths caused by heroin and most prescription drugs fell. Deaths caused by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids being trafficked illegally rose.