Michigan opioid crisis contributes to increased organ donors

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DETROIT (AP) (3/5/2018) - Organs from people who died from opioid overdose helped fuel an increase in organ donations in Michigan last year.

Overdose victims are often younger than typical donors and can have healthy organs despite their addictions.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state's federally designated organ and tissue recovery program. The program says Michigan had 320 donors last year, a 26 percent increase from the 254 donors in 2014. More than 50 of last year's donors died by drug overdose, an increase from 20 in 2014.

Technology improvements have also allowed for better disease detection, which makes more organs available for transplantation. Improved procedures at transplant centers and organ procurement organizations have ensured more potential donors and their families have the opportunity to contribute.

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