Michigan takes another step forward in combating the opioid crisis

By Jordan Kennedy

Gov. Rick Snyder met with Sec. Tom Price to discuss the ongoing opioid and prescription drug abuse problem.

Imagine someone you know or love is battling an addiction that could cost them their life.

For many, this isn’t something to imagine — it’s a painful reality.

Every state across our nation has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of opioid-related overdoses in recent years. In Michigan, opioids, including heroin and prescription drugs, accounted for 473 deaths in 2007 — in 2015, that number increased to 1,275.

Now imagine there was a way you could help save the life of that person you love who is struggling with an opioid addiction.

Today, Michigan has taken another step forward in combating the opioid crisis, with Gov. Rick Snyder authorizing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to allow pharmacists to distribute naloxone to eligible individuals. Naloxone is a fast-acting medication that reverses opioid overdose.

“Naloxone is a tool in the fight against opioid addiction that can save lives immediately and we need to make sure all residents statewide have access, both in rural areas and urban centers,” Gov. Snyder said. “Our entire state has been affected by this horrible epidemic. I have said that state government will use all possible resources to reverse the course of the opioid crisis. This is one more action that demonstrates our full commitment to addressing the problem.”

Pharmacies that obtain a standing order from MDHHS will be able to give naloxone to those at risk of an opioid-related overdose, as well as family members, friends, or other persons who may be able to assist a person at risk of an overdose. Currently, naloxone is only available to be administered by law enforcement or other first responders.

When obtaining naloxone from a pharmacy, individuals will be provided with the steps for responding to an opioid overdose as well as important information about where to go for treatment services.

To learn more about drug treatment services available near you, visit www.michigan.gov/bhrecovery.

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