Michigan Puts $10 Million Towards Curbing Opioid Epidemic
Michigan is now really putting up a fight against the opioid crisis. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced that a further $10 million in funding will be used to help tackle the state’s problems with opioid dependency and its associated effects on multiple fronts. The main areas where this funding will be used includes increasing access to treatment and reducing the number of deaths due to overdoses.
Two FDA-approved addiction treatments – methadone and buprenorphine – will see more availability across Michigan state prisons. Also, the overdose-reversing agent Narcan will become increasingly available in both urban and rural counties.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer Aims to Halve the Number of Annual Opioid Overdose Deaths Within Five Years
“The opioid crisis is hurting families from Downtown Detroit all the way to the Upper Peninsula,” said Governor Whitmer, “which is why last month, I announced a state-wide goal for the State of Michigan to reduce the number of opioid deaths by 50 percent in five years.”
Much of the $10 million in funding will be diverted to Detroit’s health department. The city is already running syringe services and exchange programs; which will now be increased following their recent success. These programs will now include new elements such as the provision of Narcan training. This is another aim of the program to make ready those who are most likely to witness overdoses and, therefore, will be in the best position to do something about them.
After Almost a Decade of Rising Figures, the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths is Starting to Fall
Figures released have proven that efforts to curb the opioid epidemic appear to be working. Between 2017 and 2018 there was an actual 0.8 percent drop recorded in the number of opioid deaths. That may seem like an insignificant amount, but opioid overdoses had previously increased, year-over-year, from 2010 on.
The improved figures have not been the same across all communities as the number of people dying via an overdose in predominately African-American communities is still increasing. It is hoped that this increase in funding will be used to directly target communities that have been affected by the opioid epidemic the most.
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