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The Michigan Meth Epidemic: Cooker Burn Injuries Costing Taxpayers Millions

KOMUnews, Flickr

The methamphetamine plague is burning a hole in the pockets of the Michigan taxpayers, as a new report indicates that working class citizens are being forced to pick up the tab of millions of dollars used to treat people severely burned due to manufacturing meth.

In fact, taxpayers in Kalamazoo, alone, were responsible for paying $2.2 million in hospital bills for 12 burn patients being treated at Bronson Methodist Hospital because of injuries sustained while cooking the drug – that’s five more meth-related burn patients than in 2011.

Not surprisingly, none of the meth-cookers treated at Bronson had private health insurance at the time they were admitted into the facility, and according to medical professionals there, the Michigan meth epidemic is only getting worse, with hospitals seeing more meth-related injuries than ever.

Officials at Bronson say that the average stay in the hospital for meth-burned patients is approximately 12 days, costing nearly $100,000 per patient. When taking into consideration the growing number of these types of accidents, it is alarming how quickly illegal drug manufacturing can rack up the costs for taxpayers.

Statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health show that between 2011 and 2012, the agency paid nearly $11 million for burn patients covered by Medicaid. Unfortunately, it is not clear what percentage of that figure stem from meth-related burns.

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