Illegal Drug Use Highest in 10 Years

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

A new national survey released Thursday says illegal drug use is at the highest point in nearly a decade.

This is not news to the director of the Eaton Behavioral Health Program who blames the spike, in part, to the downturn in the economy. He said his numbers locally are skyrocketing.

"We used to schedule people 1-2 weeks out, now we are scheduling a month in advance," Jack Jesse said. "That's huge. We've seen more than 900 patients alone this year."

The Michigan Department of Community Health has similar statistics. It served approximately 75,000 people seeking substance abuse treatment in 2009. That's up 10,000 people since 2005.

"We've seen methamphetamine coming back," Jesse said. "We're also seeing more and more heroine."

Marijuana usage is also increasing, Jesse said it's directly related to new medical marijuana laws.

"The drug is legal, so we tend to overlook the consequences," he said.

"As medical marijuana became legal, it changed the perception of our youth," Harriett Dean said. "If it's a prescription, it can't be bad for you."

Dean is the coordinator for the Ingham Substance Abuse Coalition. She said more and more kids are using marijuana at younger and younger ages.

"Approximately 9.4 percent of our 7th graders in Ingham County have used it," she said, "15.3 percent of our 9th graders and 19 percent of our 11 graders have used it in the past 30 days."

Unfortunately the trend, experts said, will only continue, which makes prevention programs that much more important.

"People need to pay attention to this," Jesse said. "This is not going away."

-To get in touch with the Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, follow this link:

-To get in touch with the Eaton Behavioral Program call: (517) 543-2580

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  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:59 PM
    The number of people 'seeking' treatment has increased? Can we all say a collective 'DUH'!!! Did it occur to the writer/reporter that treatment has been increasingly mandated by the courts? And who pays for all these people to receive treatment? Can we all say another collective 'DUH'?!! The tax payers!!! Can we please send all of our useless druggies to Greenland? Iceland would also be a good choice.
  • by john Location: lansing on Sep 17, 2010 at 09:12 AM
    Eaton county wants to give me a year in jail because I was cought smoking a joint!Talk about wasting tax payers money!They cheated me by signing a 30 day cap then danced around it like a game.I have serious medical problems, Opiates kill people and has serious side offects I perfer my joint to that!Besides raiding the fridg. Eaton county is the worst side effect!they fined me $2000, they took my driving privilage for more than a year, gave me 30 days in jail and two years probation.I was not driving when I was smoking. I have not been pulled over in 15 years. Now they call me and tell me to turn myself in. This is crazy! The drug war Reagan started is over, you have lost!A year in jail wont change nothing. Ive paid all im going to pay.The laws are made like they are only to make courts money, get a real job!
  • by Todd on Sep 17, 2010 at 05:49 AM
    Actually, it still is illegal its just that license holders have 'reserved rights'. "served approximately 75,000 people seeking substance abuse treatment in 2009. That's up 10,000 people since 2005." Because of the drug courts that 'force' people to take the treatment option to reduce the sentence. "If it's a prescription, it can't be bad for you." Its not. Its a doctor's recommendation, because you can't prescribe a Schedule 1 drug. Yes, children are the issue but please be more true to the facts of the law.
  • by Jim Location: Houghton on Sep 17, 2010 at 05:08 AM
    Why don't they blame the right thing, Oh i know then they couldn't go get a smoke and scotch when there done writing this dribble.. Now this is just my opinion but Isn't cigarette's and alcohol allot easier for teen's to get then POT? What about Mon's & Dad's hydrocodones, Oxycotton, Xanax, or even sleep aid's these thing's have a proven track record for being addicting. The only thing this writer didn't do is his homework. Go write something about that! and leave Medical Marijuana alone. What are the subarctics for cigarette's and alcohol abuse??? Here is a link to some very informative information. [url][/url]
  • by The Reality of It Location: DeWitt on Sep 16, 2010 at 05:11 PM
    Well of course the numbers of people seeking rehabilitation has reached it's highest level in ten years ! First, it's state it's free for Joe Meth-Head to get "rehabilitated" for him at least. Second, Joe Meth-Head probably used to have a job that made it easier to afford the stuff. Once he lost it, the job I mean, he had no loot to keep buying his fix. At least the guy ended up in rehab...better there than in jail for committing some haneous crime against someone else, in an effort to get his fix. I wonder why they lump Marijuana in there with the problem drugs though? I've never heard of someone smoking it and then experiencing some crazy uncontrollable desire to go snort a big line of drain cleaner or run out and track down the nearest Heroin dealer for their next big buzz. C'mon, people. Let's focus on the real problems: No Jobs in Mi., Lots of anger and Violence(Murder), Lots of gangsters and HARD Drugs out there. What are "we the people" going to do?
  • by West Michigan Relief Location: Michigan on Sep 16, 2010 at 04:39 PM
    Too bad medical marijuana isn't a 'prescription' Mr. drug councilor. And how about looking at a single other state in comparison? IL, IN, OH have ALL had similar rate increases of cannabis use however they have NO medical marijuana law in place! -Patient who's ceased lethal prescriptions in favor of a nonlethal natural medication.
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