How we’ll win the fight against opioid addiction

“ Don’t give up, every life has value. Let’s all take the attitude that it’s not too late as long as someone [addicted to opioids] is drawing a breath” — Lt. Governor Brian Calley

Addiction is an epidemic that is impacting families all across our state and country. Here in Michigan, our state ranked 10th in 2012 for prescribing rates of opioid pain relievers. What’s worse is that the number of unintentional fatal drug poisonings in Michigan quadrupled between 1999 to 2014.

This is why the Prescription Drug & Opioid Abuse Task Force was convened in 2015 — to save lives by creating a comprehensive strategy for overcoming the addiction crisis.

Since announcing the recommendations in late 2015, LG Calley and state partners have been taking action in addressing this epidemic in our state. There are several bills currently moving through the legislative process and the state budget signed this summer by the Governor includes funding to update the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS). An overhaul of the MAPS system will allow doctors and pharmacists to get a better understanding of how drugs are being prescribed and dispensed. This technology upgrade aims to prevent some addiction before it occurs.

The addiction crisis affects every community. LG Calley recently spoke with local leaders and recovery professionals in Southwest Michigan at a day-long summit on the topic.

The State of Michigan isn't giving up. Michigan is taking an active role to help provide second chances to Michiganders by working to prevent overdose deaths related to opioid misuse and abuse.

Michigan’s efforts aimed at community prevention, early detection and working to connect people with better treatment options will be advanced by a new grant the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was just awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The funding will be used to further efforts to develop a strategy for combating this growing epidemic. The grant will help improve data collection and analysis related to opioid misuse, abuse and overdoses, as well as help collaborate with communities across the state to develop a comprehensive overdose prevention program.

Michigan is one of 14 states to receive the $2.25 million grant over the next three years. To learn more about the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force’s recommendations, click here.