Drug and alcohol abuse is a growing problem that has touched nearly every community across the nation. The rapidly developing Opiate epidemic, which has devastated countless addicts and their families, has not left Michigan untouched.
With many large urban areas and an easy commute between them, towns and cities across Michigan are experiencing more drug overdoses than ever. In fact, officials in Grand Traverse County, including Traverse City itself, continue to battle the influx of drugs. Fortunately, local officials, area residents, and community groups are taking action to stop substance abuse in its tracks.
The City of Traverse City, Michigan
Though it is still a relatively small area, many surrounding towns and cities pale in comparison to Traverse City, Michigan. Recent census data suggests that the population holds steady at around 14,674. This population contributes to the density of the metropolitan area that surrounds the city.
In the 1840’s, a local sea Captain purchased the land area that currently makes up Traverse City. He and his son began commerce in the area with the construction of a sawmill. After that business changed hands, the mill became prosperous and many people began moving to the area to find work. Eventually, in 1872, the railway came to Traverse City, and the population began to expand even further. Now, not only is the city the seat of Grand Traverse County, it is also the largest city in northern Michigan.
Traverse City has a rich history, and if the founders had their way, it would have originally been named Grand Traverse City, after the bay on which the city sits. Unfortunately, in the 1850’s, the United States Post Office Department nixed the idea to avoid confusion between two nearby post offices.
Today, Traverse City is America’s top producer of tart cherries. The region’s annual Cherry Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area every year. This, however, isn’t the only tourist attraction in the city. Traverse City is also home to beaches, ski resorts, lakes, vineyards, and forests. These attractions have won the city a number of accolades, including being named the second best “small town travel destination” by Trip Advisor.
While this city boasts a small town feel and many beautiful tourist attractions, what is happening behind the scenes is far from appealing.
Substance Abuse & Addiction in Traverse City, Michigan
In the last year, approximately 128 Traverse City residents were admitted to the hospital or emergency room with Heroin-related complications. This is exactly double the amount of hospital admissions for any other drug in the area. The next closest admission rate is Xanax, overdoes of which sent about 64 people to the hospital in the last year. Local medical professionals have also seen many residents struggling with addiction to:
- Methamphetamines; and
The number of drug-related felony charges reflects the growing trend in Opiate abuse. In 2014, there were 51 official charges, up from only 26 in 2009. Not only are felonies on the rise in Traverse City, so are drug-related crime (such as theft, burglary, and prostitution) and Hepatitis C (from increased needle sharing practices among addicts).
In an effort to ameliorate the drug abuse that is ravaging the city, area officials are hoping to expand use of the local Recovery Court to drug users (instead of just drunk drivers). The Grand Traverse County Narcotics Team and Sheriff’s Office have also teamed up to fight back against the influx of drugs in the community.
They hope that their efforts, including one entitled “Operation Sweetie,” will turn the tide in the battle against Opiate and other substance abuse. Officials say that many drug trafficking rings use a route that travels from Detroit to Traverse City, which then continues to distribute drugs to smaller towns and cities. The efforts of local officials come on the heels of a wake of overdoses that occurred in the first part of 2016. Specifically, in a matter of mere weeks in February and March, there were 7 overdoses caused by Heroin alone.
Unfortunately, Heroin isn’t the only battle that officials must fight in Traverse City. Meth manufacturing, distribution, and abuse are still very real threats to the community. In 2015, detectives with the Grand Traverse County drug team found what they were calling the largest Meth bust in northern Michigan’s history. The site, and many more like it in the region, pose serious threats to the community from the toxic and flammable chemicals that are used during the manufacturing process.
Substance Abuse Resources in Traverse City
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out for help immediately. Take the first step towards recovery by contacting us. The experienced professionals at Best Drug Rehabilitation are some of the premier staff for Traverse City rehabilitation centers. They will treat you with the respect and compassion you need while you focus on your recovery.
Don’t wait any longer to seek help with drug and alcohol dependence. By calling us, or one of the above-listed treatment facilities, you will be on your way towards a happy, healthy, and drug-free future.