Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Tiffany Lee

Second Advisor

Kieran Fogarty


The escalating opioid epidemic has affected the United States on both national and local levels. In the state of Michigan, the opioid overdose death rate increased by 13.3% between 2014 and 2015 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Due to a gap in the literature regarding opioid hospitalization rates, this study focused on the demographic correlates of unemployment, health insurance, and poverty level in relation to the Michigan counties that indicated the highest opioid hospitalization rates in the 2013-2015 time period. The five Michigan counties with the highest opioid hospitalization rates were Oscoda, Arenac, Roscommon, Clare, and Benzie County. All three examined correlates were associated with opioid hospitalization rates in these counties. This study suggests further research into the demographics of the opioid epidemic in Michigan counties.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access