Alcohol/Substance Abuse Epidemiology Program
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) receives federal funding to conduct public health surveillance on the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on Michigan's population. The Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology provides epidemiological support to programmatic efforts related to alcohol and drugs provided by other Michigan and National agencies. More information on treatment services is available from the Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services.
For an update on the recreational use of "bath salts" and synthetic marijuana, see below.
Excessive alcohol use, either in the form of heavy drinking (drinking more than two drinks per day on average for men or more than one drink per day on average for women), or binge drinking (drinking 5 or more drinks during a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks during a single occasion for women), can lead to increased risk of health problems such as liver disease or unintentional injuries (1). While most adults consume alcohol responsibly, there is a growing need to understand the relationship between alcohol use, particularly excessive use and its harmful effects in Michigan.
The MDCH Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology receives support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct public health surveillance on how alcohol affects Michigan's population. Our focus consists of monitoring alcohol-related disease and negative societal outcomes with a special interest in youth to develop environmental and policy indicators for Michigan.
Violence and Mental Distress in Current and Binge Drinking Michigan Youth
Sexual Behavior and the Impact of Drinking in Michigan Youth
Weight Control Behavior of Current and Binge Drinking Michigan Youth
Self-reported Experience with Drinking and Driving in Michigan Youth
Type of Alcohol Consumed by Michigan Youth
Alcohol and Tobacco Use Among Michigan Youth, 2011
Alcohol and Drug Use Among Michigan High School Students, 2011
2006-2010 MI & County Death Rates
2006-2010 MI & County Hospitalization Rates
2006-2010 MI & County Traffic Crash Rates
Alcohol Data Sources Fact Sheet
Alcohol Outlet Density Associated Harms Summary
2009-2010 Michigan Alcohol-Attributable Hospitalization Charges
Risky Violent Behavior and Suicide
Risky Sexual Behavior
Unhealthy Weight Control Behavior
Drinking and Driving
Type of Alcohol Consumed by Michigan Youth
Youth and Adult Binge Drinking in Michigan
Usual Source of Alcohol Among Michgan Youth
Usual Location of Alcohol Consumption by Michigan Youth
Substance abuse is defined as the continued usage of drugs or alcohol to the extent that it results in significant impairment including interference with one's work, home, social relationships, or health in the previous 12 months. The nonmedical use of prescription type-drugs, defined by the usage of drugs without a prescription or only for the intention of experiencing the drug's effect, has increased dramatically across the nation. The effects of substance abuse are far-reaching, extending beyond individuals to families and society. Therefore, there is an urgency to monitor the burden of substance and prescription drug abuse in Michigan.
The Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology monitors the abuse of illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs to support agencies and communities in their actions to reduce the burden associated with drugs and other substances in Michigan and improve the overall quality of life of Michigan's residents. Because there is large overlap between substance abuse and mental health, the Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology is also interested in monitoring the co-occurrence of these public health issues.
Depressive Feelings and Illicit Drug Use Among Michigan Youth
Unintentional Drug Poisoning Deaths in Michigan
To learn more about alcohol and drug abuse in Michigan, see the reports and resources provided below.
60% of Michigan adults, aged 18 and older, used alcohol in the past month, while 16% of youth aged 12-17 consumed alcohol. 27% of adults and 10% of youth binge drank in the past month (1). Excessive alcohol use is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for people in the United States each year. From 2001-2005, there were approximately 79,000 deaths annually attributable to excessive alcohol use in the United States (2).
In 2008, there were approximately 190,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol in the United States (3).
According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2006-2008, 9% of Michigan residents aged 12 years and older reported using illicit drugs in the past month. When marijuana was excluded, the estimated dropped to 4% (4) .
In 2008, poisoning surpassed motor vehicle crashes to become the leading cause of injury death in the United States (5). Since 2003, over 90% of all poisonings have involved drugs, with the largest increase in poisonings related to opioid analgesics (pain relievers) (6,7). A similar national pattern has also been seen in Michigan with poisonings exceeding motor vehicle crashes to become the leading cause of injury death in Michigan in 2009 (8).
Update - Recreational Use of "Bath Salts"
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has worked with the Michigan Poison Control Center (PCC) to monitor the number of cases presenting to emergency departments (EDs) across the state related to the recreational use of a new designer drug commonly called "bath salts." A complete report of Michigan cases between November 2010 and March 2011 was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The PCC continues to monitor cases statewide called in by the general public and health care providers due to "bath salt" exposure. In 2011, there were a total of 164 cases and there have been 26 cases in 2012 through March.
These "bath salt" products go by a variety of names and contain a number of synthetic chemicals which are strong stimulants that are highly addictive and can result in violent behavior, paranoia or death. Bath salts are sold as crystalline powder in a small bag with names, such as White Rush, Ivory Wave, Blow, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, Aura, Zeus 2, Zoom, Bliss, Blue Silk, White Lightning, Ocean, Charge, Cosmic Blast, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Cloud 9, Energy 1, White Dove, and others. Legislation making specific synthetic cathinones in "bath salts" illegal in Michigan went into effect August 1, 2011. Federal legislation temporarily adding three synthetic cathinones went into effect October 21, 2011. These regulations are posted below.
Michigan Controlled Substance Act, 2011
Temporary Placement of Three Synthetic Cathinones Into Schedule I
Although there is no mandated reporting requirement, as part of PCC's ongoing surveillance of surveillance of designer drugs, the PCC encourages hospitals to contact them by calling 1-800-222-1222. Further information and fact sheets are found below.
Bath Salts Fact Sheet
Bath Salts Frequently Asked Questions for Health Care Providers
Update - Use of Synthetic Marijuana (known as "Spice"/"K2")
The Michigan Children's Hospital of Michigan Poison Control Center (PCC) also monitors the number of cases called in by the general public and health care providers due to synthetic marijuana exposure. The PCC has found the number of cases rising in Michigan, from 17 in 2010 to 224 cases in 2011. There have been 126 cases in 2012 by the end of March.
Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of dried herbs and spices sprayed with chemicals that, when smoked, create a high similar to THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. It is often labeled as incense, potpourri, or herbal smoking blend. It is sold under a variety of brand names including K2, Spice, Genie, Yucatan Fire, King Krypto, Mr. Nice Guy, K-3, Red Magic, Blueberry Medication, Sugar Skunk, Black Mamba, Bliss, Bombay Blue, and Zohai. Package labeling often warns consumers that it is not for human consumption. Legislation making ingredients in synthetic marijuana illegal in Michigan went into effect October 2010. Five synthetic cannabinoids were temporarily added to the list of Schedule I by the Drug Enforcement Administration in March 2011, with an extension issued in March 2012. These regulations are posted below.
Michigan Controlled Substance Act, 2010
DEA Fact Sheet
Temporary Placement of Five Synthetic Cannabinoids into Schedule I, 2011
Extension of Temporary Placement of Five Synthetic Cannabinoids into Schedule I, 2012
Although there is no mandated reporting requirement, as part of the PCC's ongoing surveillance of designer drugs, the PCC encourages hospitals to contact them by calling 1-800-222-1222. Further information and fact sheets are found below.
General Fact Sheet
Health Care Provider Fact Sheet
Alcohol and Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY)
MDCH Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services
MDCH Mental Health and Substance Abuse
MDCH Injury and Violence Prevention
MDCH Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey
Michigan Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, Michigan Department of Education
Michigan Drunk Driving Audit, Michigan State Police
For more information call the Michigan Department of Community Health at 1-800-648-6942.