Every day, millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse issues. Across the nation, officials are still battling classic drugs of abuse, such as Cocaine and Methamphetamines. Unfortunately, many areas are now taking on a new wave of drug abuse: addiction to Opiates. This substance abuse trend has not left any community untouched. Even Michigan’s attractive lakeside towns and cities, such as Ludington, have been negatively impacted by the presence of drugs and alcohol in the community.
Ludington, Michigan is the seat of Mason County, and holds a population of approximately 8,076. This waterside city is located at the confluence of the Pere Marquette River and Lake Michigan. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the ample opportunities for watersports in the Ludington area. The site is also home to other, smaller bodies of water, including Lake Hamlin. Additional local attractions include the Ludington State Park, Big Sable Point Light, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, and Manistee National Forest. Unsurprisingly, this region attracts outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, golfing, watersports, and other recreational activities.
One of the first European explorers to set foot in the area that is now known as Ludington, was missionary Jacques Marquette in 1675. The region did not become truly settled until around 1845, when trapper and fisherman Burr Caswell set up shop. The house he and his family built would later become the first courthouse, after the establishment of Mason County in 1855. In 1873, Ludington was officially incorporated as a city and named the seat of the recently established county.
Major commercial production also developed in Ludington in the late 1800’s. The creation of a sawmill turned the area into a major shipping port for processed wood. Ferries were developed to help transport the goods across Lake Michigan.
Today, the area is home to many restaurants, shops, marinas, and tourist attractions. In fact, in 2005, AAA named Ludington as one of the top five tourist destinations in Michigan. The influx of visitors helps the region remain relatively stable even throughout hard economic times.
Despite its idyllic setting, Ludington has not been immune to the nationwide substance abuse trend.
Drug Addiction & Treatment in Ludington, Michigan
With the introduction of Heroin and other Opiates, drug abuse is no longer considered a big city problem. Patients across the United States are being prescribed painkillers, such as Vicodin or Percocet, at record levels. These Opiate-based drugs are highly addictive, despite the assurances that were originally given by large pharmaceutical companies. When physicians across the country prescribe these pills, countless Americans become addicted. Though the medication was initially considered safe, its addictive qualities have recently been brought to the forefront.
Unfortunately, many patients turn to “doctor shopping” in order to get another prescription filled. Still, others buy the drugs illicitly from the streets. When a prescription becomes unavailable or too expensive, many try Heroin as a similar, yet cheaper and more potent, alternative. In Michigan, a dose of Heroin can cost an addict as little as $10.00. The affordability and availability of this drug has only led to an increase in the overdose death toll.
Local Ludington drug enforcement teams are fighting back against this growing epidemic. In a recent effort made by Mason County law enforcement officials, approximately 16 Ludington area drug dealers were arrested. During the investigations, police also found tens of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, including:
- Crack Cocaine;
- Methamphetamines; and
- Prescription medication including OxyContin, Ritalin, Xanax, Lortab, Vicodin, and Albuterol.
To combat the Opiate epidemic, Ludington medical professionals and emergency responders are equipped with Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan. This medication is the lifesaving antidote to an Opiate overdose. In early 2016, police in Ludington used Naloxone on an overdosing individual for the first time since it became available. Some suggest that this will be the first of many uses, as painkiller and Heroin abuse seep into the Ludington area. In an effort to expand the availability of Naloxone, two bills have been introduced to Michigan House and Senate, which would allow residents to obtain the medication without a prescription.
Though it seems that Opiate abuse is on the rise, Ludington officials are still battling classic drugs of abuse such as Methamphetamines. Recent investigations have led to the discovery of many dangerous Meth labs. Not only is the drug extremely harmful to users, it is also highly dangerous to manufacturers and their surrounding neighbors. The chemicals used to make Meth are highly toxic and extremely flammable, making them a danger to even be around, let alone use.
Though the substance abuse epidemic has hit Mason County, including Ludington, there is hope for recovery, right in the area.
Substance Abuse Resources in Ludington, Michigan
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse in the Ludington, Michigan area, now is the time to reach out for help. Any delay in action can have deadly consequences for the addict. To learn about your recovery options, feel free to contact us now.
The area also has some other options including:
Catholic Charities West Michigan in multiple locations, including Ludington, MI
Choices West Counseling Services, Inc. in Hart, MI
Family Healthcare (including the Loretta Adams Ashby Health Center) in Baldwin, MI
Be Da Bin Behavioral Health Program in Manistee, MI
Cedars Rehabilitation in Manistee, MI
If you have just completed treatment and are looking for support there area also Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings right in the Ludington area, which are available to current addicts and individuals in recovery.
Mason County also offers prescription medication disposal services, in order to ensure that unused, unwanted, or expired drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands. By properly recycling your medication (and not flushing it down the drain), you are saving lives and saving the environment. Many addictions begin when drugs are taken from a loved one’s medicine cabinet and used without the supervision of a physician.
For more information on Ludington, Michigan, its substance abuse issues, and local resources, please feel free to contact us, or one of the above-listed facilities, today.