Scope and Statistics for Vulnerable People

 Scope and Statistics for Vulnerable People


Overdose (raw data can be found here)

Compiled Statistics Related to Overdose and Naloxone

Overdoses In Grand Traverse County:

  • In 2023, Grand Traverse County was awarded $4.5 million in opioid lawsuit settlement funds, which will be used for Naloxone, opioid-related treatment, prevention, education, recovery support, and more (Burgess, 2023)

  • Munson Healthcare (n.d.) reports that "39.6 percent of patients treated in the emergency department for substance use disorder will return to the ED within 90 days." 

  • Munson hospitals treated 25,419 unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdoses in 2018, and nearly half involved opioids (Record Eagle, 2020). 

  • In 2023, Grand Traverse County reported 97 suspected overdoses; 10 were fatal. Naloxone was reported in 57 (59%) of Grand Traverse County overdoses. Compared to 2022 data, this represents a reduction of 63% in total overdoses (264 in 2022) and 56% fatal overdoses (23 in 2022), and an increase in Naloxone from 29% to 59% of cases. (Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, 2024)

  • In 2020, there were 22 drug-related deaths in Grand Traverse County, and 68% of them involved opioids (Record Eagle, 2020).

  • From 2015-2017, there was a 229% increase in drug related fatalities in Grand Traverse County (Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition, 2022).

  • Grand Traverse County Judge Bob Cooney estimates that one-third of people in his drug treatment court are "involved with fentanyl in one way or another." (Long, 2023).

In Michigan:

  • Disparities among Michigan opioid overdoses deaths for People of Color suggest "staggering" implication for substance use and mental health services. In a 5-year period, opoid deaths doubled and suicide rates rose 88% for African Americans in Michigan (Roelofs, 2023). The QRT advocates for equal access to behavioral health services for all participants .

  • Overdoses killed 2,998 Michigan residents in 2022, "more than the number of those killed by car crashes or guns combined." Opioids were involved in 80% of these deaths; this translates to one Michigan resident dying of an overdose every four hours (State of Michigan, 2023; French, 2024).

  • 2022 CDC data does not report overdose deaths in Michigan, but 2021 reports suggest that 53.9% of drug overdose deaths in Michigan had at least one potential opportunity for intervention (CDC, 2022). 

  • Governor Whitmer announced a statewide goal to cut the number of overdoses in half by 2025 (MDHHS, 2020).

  • In 2017, the CDC estimated the Economic Cost of Opioid Use Disorder and Fatal Overdoses to be $41.4 billion in Michigan (including $23.5 billion for fatal overdoses and $17.9 billion for Opioid Use Disorder). This equates to $4,155 per capita, more than the U.S. average of $3,134 per capita. What this means is that the QRT saves money; every life saved and every person who recovers from Opioid Use Disorder saves the state over $4,000. 

  • 11,000 residents have been killed from the Opioid Epidemic since 2018 (French, 2024)

In the U.S.:

  • More than 150 people die every day in the United States from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the CDC. That's nearly 55,000 people every year" (Long, 2023). "That's an average of one person every 9 minutes," (Munson Medical Center, n.d.)

  • Individuals who experience non-fatal overdose are more likely to overdose in the future (Dassanyake et al., 2012, as cited in Zibbell et al, 2019).

  • 10% of people who experience a non-fatal overdose will die of an overdose within two years (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2017).

  • The economic toll of the opioid crisis reached nearly $1.5 Trillion in 2020, up 37% from 2017 numbers, adjusted for inflation (Beyer, 2022). 

  • The opioid crisis disproportionately affects People of Color and increases economic inequality (Beyer, 2022).

  •  A 2020 study from the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 3 out of 4 people with long term substance use recover (NPR, 2022). 20.5 million adults (75% of those who admit they had a substance use problem) reported being in recovery (Jones, Noonan, & Compton, 2020).

  • Individuals with Adverse Childhood Experiences are more likely to use drugs, experience trauma, have depression, and attempt suicide, among other negative lasting effects. Resiliency, the ability to overcome serious hardship, is "the key to mitigating ACEs" by building support for the individual and their family systems. Healthy relationships build resilience (COSSUP, 2019). 


Naloxone and QRT Statistics

  • 80% of overdose deaths in 2021 involved an opioid (French, 2024). Naloxone is used to reverse opioid overdoses.

  • When given Naloxone, 93.5% of people survive their overdose (Kounang, 2017). 

  • People who survive an overdose and talk to someone following the event are more likely to seek and enroll in services related to recovery and harm reduction.

  • Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP, n.d.) reports that "when our [Quick Response Team] team engaged within 3-5 days of an overdose, face-to-face, more than 80% of the time, we were getting people into treatment.

Compiled Statistics Related to Vulnerable Populations

In Grand Traverse County:

  • The 2021 Grand Traverse County Community Health Assessment reported substance use, housing and mental health as the top three issues impacting Grand Traverse County, and the top three services that would benefit the community  (MiThrive, 2023).

  • Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition (2018) identified two of the root causes of substance use in Grand Traverse County to be mental illness and homelessness.

  • In 2023, Grand Traverse County commissioners approved $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to build a new Grand Traverse Center for Mental Wellness, a regional mental health center at (Munson Medical Center, 2023) that will help to coordinate and improve access for mental health and substance use services. It is expected to be open by "the end of 2024" (Milligan, 2023b).

  • Participant interviews report a lack of support after release from treatment for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders (Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition, 2018). 

In Michigan:

  • Munson Medical Center (n.d.) reports that the number of people diagnosed with Opioid addiction between 2010 and 2016 increased 493% in Michigan alone.

  • 5.0% of all overdose deaths in Michigan were people experiencing homelessness. 

The Link Between Substance Use, Mental Health & Homelessness

  • In a 2013 report, SAMHSA concluded that all three issues (homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorder) must be addressed simultaneously to achieve successful treatment outcomes (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021).

  • "The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that approximately 50% of people with mental illnesses will develop a Substance Use Disorder over the course of their lifetime, and 50% of those with substance use disorder will develop a mental health condition" (Pinals & Fuller, 2020). 

  • 1 in 4 Americans (82.5 million) had either a Substance Use Disorder or a Mental Illness in 2021, and 7.6% of the U.S. population (19.4 Million people) had both.  Of the people who had both Substance Use Disorder and Any Mental Illness, 3.9 Million (20%) were reportedly below the poverty level (SAMHSA, 2020). This is similar to data reported in 2020

  • 1/3 of people with Serious Mental Illness also have a Substance Use Disorder (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021). 

  • In 2020, 75% of people (nearly 250 Million Americans) reported they had used a substance in the past month (SAMHSA, 2020). 

  • People who have mental illness are more likely to use every type of substance. SAMHSA reports that for adults 18 or over in 2020, those with any mental illness were more likely than those without mental illness to use illicit drugs (48.5% of those with mental illness used, compared to 17% who did not have a mental illness), use marijuana (39.2% vs. 14.6%), use opioids (11.6% vs. 2.3%), use tobacco (37.4% vs. 19.6%) and binge drink (30.9% vs. 22.8%) (SAMHSA, 2021).  

  • In 2021, SAMHSA reports that between 30%-70% of people experiencing homelessness also had co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021), increased from 2017-2018 data which suggests it was up to 25% (Upshur et al., 2017; Ding, Slate, & Yang, 2018). This is 4-10 times higher than the rate of people without co-occurring disorders (SAMHSA, 2021). 

  • Harm reduction techniques may be more accessible and successful for people with a severe mental illness and substance use disorder compared to abstinence-only models (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021).

  • A study in Ontario, Canada found that one in six fatal opioid-related overdoses were people experiencing homelessness (Booth et al., 2023)

Compiled Statistics Related to Interactions with Justice System for Vulnerable People

  • Individuals with co-occurring substance use disorder and serious mental illness are overrepresented in every part of the criminal justice system and are more likely to experience homelessness (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021). 

  • Repeat arrestees are disproportionately homeless and have co-occurring mental health and Substance Use Disorder diagnoses (Magee et al., 2021; Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021). 

  • Individuals released from correctional facilities are 40 times more likely than the general population to die from an opioid overdose within the first two weeks following their release (MDHHS, 2020).

  • 1/3 of people in the U.S. with mental illness will be involved with the Police (Judge Milton Mack, Stop the Merry Go Round, AOT Training, 2022). 

  • 30-40% of people who had been arrested had a mental health or Substance Use Disorder diagnosis, and about 20% had both in two separate studies (Magee et al., 2021; Prince & Wald, 2018). But some of the statistics show even more prevalence; a study in Iowa concluded that almost half of their inmates with a mental illness also had a history of substance use, and a well-cited 1991 study estimated that 72% of jail detainees with a severe mental disorder also have a substance use disorder (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021).

  • People with co-occurring disorders were 7.47 more likely to be arrested and booked for breathing the law in the last 12 months, and 16 more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, compared with someone who did not have mental illness or Substance Use Disorder (Hancq, South & Vencel, 2021).

  • According to 2017 data published by SAMHSA, 17% of inmates have Serious Mental Illness, compared to just 5% of the general population. 53% of people in prison and 68% of people in jail have Substance Use Disorder, compared to just 8.5% of people not incarcerated (SAMHSA, 2017).

  • Most of the individuals experiencing homelessness in our area are locals. 96% of people served by the homeless response system from July 2022 - July 2023 were from the 5 county region of Grand Traverse, Antrim, Benzie, Leelanau, and Kalkaska (Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness, 2023). 

  • The 2023 Housing Needs Assessment suggests that the overall vacancy rate for Grand Traverse County is below 1%. The vacancy rate measures the percentage of all available units in a rental property, such as a hotel or apartment complex, that are vacant or unoccupied at a particular time. The report notes that "Typically, healthy, well-balanced markets have rental housing vacancy rates generally between 4% and 6%" (Bowen National Research, 2023). 

  • QRT anecdotal evidence does not support the criticism that "people come to Traverse City to be homeless." QRT reports suggest that individuals who end up homeless in Traverse City originally came to the area for treatment (substance use or mental health), employment, or relationships, and additional barriers led them to homelessness in the area. 

  • The Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness aims to end chronic homelessness by 2028. They estimate that 274 people are actively homeless in the Grand Traverse region as of December 2023 and 70 of those are chronically homeless. Their goal is to make homelessness "rare, brief and one time" The NMCEH provides up-to-date newsletters about homelessness in the Grand Traverse region (NMCEH, 2023).

  • The Road Away from Homelessness video shows that people who enter the Homeless Response System may utilize diversion, emergency shelter, street outreach, rapid rehousing or permanent supportive housing to end their homelessness.

Other Statistics Related to Traverse City, Michigan

U.S. Census Bureau (2022) reports:

  • Population of Traverse City: 15,978, compared to the population of Grand Traverse County: 96,464

  • Grand Traverse County Median Household Income: $75,553

  • Grand Traverse County Racial/Ethnic Groups include White Non-Hispanic (92.2%), Hispanic (3.3%), American Indian or Alaska Native alone (1.3%), and Two or More Races (2.0%)

Statistics updated biannually with latest available data. Last updated 2/2024.