Addiction is a disease that has touched nearly every community across the United States. Virtually all families have experienced substance abuse through the eyes of a loved one, friend, family member, or neighbor. As federal, state, and local officials battle well established drugs of abuse, such as Cocaine and Methamphetamines, they are now also fighting a growing Opiate epidemic. Unfortunately, Michigan and many of its cities have not been immune to this trend. Even small towns such as Leland have not been left unharmed.
Leland Township & Leland, Michigan
Leland, Michigan is a small area located within the confines of Leland Township. The Township, as a whole, has a small population over just over 2,000 individuals. Leland itself, which is located in Leelanau County, is actually an unincorporated community, and is only home to around 400 residents.
The town is located on a coastal point, called Leelanau Peninsula, at the confluence of Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan. This feature makes the town accessible not only by car, but also by boat. The ample fishing opportunities make the area attractive not only to fishermen, but also to residents and visitors who enjoy water sports, as well. Tourists are also enticed by the areas’ many shops, restaurants, beaches, hiking trails, and other recreational activities.
Throughout its history, Leland has always appealed to fisherman. The area was originally home to a traditional Native American fishing ground entitled “Mishi-me-go-bing,” meaning “the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor.” By the 1830’s, settlers began to arrive in the region. These newcomers built dams and docks to capitalize on the fishing opportunities and to increase access to the area.
By the 1880’s, commercial fishing thrived in Leland, and many wooden structures were built to accommodate and process the goods. These buildings still stand today, as a part of Leland’s historical area, called “Fishtown.” The area now functions as both a tourist attraction and a functional fish processing plant. It is even home to two historic fishing boats, which remain on display for visitors.
Today, Leland’s lakeside location has made it a population area for sightseers. Many resorts, hotels, and summer homes line the shores of this historic and quant town. Notably, famous actor, Tim Allen, owns a home on Lake Michigan in this pristine location.
Despite its historic charm, small town qualities, and ample tourist attractions, Leland has still been impacted by the rising trend in substance abuse that is facing the whole country.
Drug Abuse Problems in Leland, Michigan
With its proximity to Traverse City, Leland has seen an influx of drugs in the community. Officials have stated that drug trafficking rings typically use a route that starts in Detroit and ends in Traverse City. From there, the drugs are then distributed to smaller areas throughout northern Michigan, including Leland.
With this rise in availability of drugs, no one is immune to the impacts of substance abuse. In fact, in Leelanau County, 10% of students claim that they were sold, offered, or given illicit drugs while on school grounds. Furthermore, approximately 28% of students said they had tried drugs, including Marijuana, and the average student first tried the substance by age 14.
Dealers tend to target these students because they are a vulnerable population and can often afford the cheap drug prices. At the annual Cherry Festival in nearby Traverse City, dealers were recently caught targeting young students. These criminals sold Ecstasy or prescription pills for around $20.00 each. Furthermore, in many regions across northern Michigan, a dose of Heroin can be bought for around $10.00.
The recent trend in Opiate abuse has also found its way to Leland and Leelanau County. Doctors have been overprescribing prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin or Percocet, since their introduction into the medical world. Though they were once labeled as a relatively safe form of pain management, they turned out to have highly addictive qualities. As such, many patients unwittingly became addicted after having been prescribed the medication for anything from a toothache to a broken bone.
Even if a patient doesn’t become addicted, unused, unwanted, or expired pills have caused problems for his or her friends and family members. Leelanau County has seen many instances of addiction that began when prescription painkillers were swiped from a loved one’s medicine cabinet. Some individuals, who have a valid prescription, also end up selling the drugs for a profit on the streets, whether or not they are aware of the danger to their customers and the community, as a whole.
When prescriptions pills become unavailable, or too expensive on the streets. Many addicts then turn to Heroin as a cheaper and more potent alternative. While prescription painkillers have led to many overdose deaths in the Leland area, Heroin has also caused many more fatalities.
While drug addiction has gripped our nation, there is hope for substance abusers and their families in the Leland, Michigan region.
Substance Abuse Resources in Leland, Michigan
If you are struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it is never too late or too early to reach out for help. In Leland and the surrounding area, you or your loved one can get the help and resources you need to overcome substance abuse. To find a local treatment facility, please feel free to contact us.
For more information on Leland, Michigan, its substance abuse issues, as well as local treatment options, please feel free to contact us, or one of the above-listed treatment facilities, today.