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ICYMI: Holland Sentinel: Michigan receives $16M in federal funding to battle opioid addiction

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Washington, April 25, 2017 | comments

ICYMI: Michigan receives $16M in federal funding to battle opioid addiction
By Jordan Climie
Holland Sentinel

Michigan has received more than $16 million in federal funds to help reduce opioid use and abuse across the state, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced today.

“The addiction epidemic continues to impact families in every community across our state and across this country,” Calley said. “Michigan is making strides in the fight against addiction and this grant will help us bring those efforts to the next level, helping more families find the support they need to prevent and treat addiction.”

The funding was awarded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The grants were also helped through U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s, R-St. Joseph, 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2016.

“It seems like everyone I meet is in some way impacted by this tragic opioid epidemic,” Upton said. “These grants will directly help those in need here in Southwest Michigan and across the country. I applaud the administration for getting these grants out in an expedited manner. As part of our bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act we fought hard to include this funding to aid in this public health crisis. Now, we’re delivering. To those in the midst of this fight: Help is on the way.”

The STR grant will be used to promote prevention and increase access to treatment by funding State of Michigan initiatives, including:

  • The Michigan Automated Prescription System
  • Development of a statewide awareness campaign
  • Michigan-OPEN research through the University of Michigan
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Prevention services and strategies
  • Improving the availability of Naloxone
  • Increasing peer supports, tribal supports, and support of law enforcement
  • Providing a new model for re-entry services
  • Collaboration with university partners on re-entry, evaluation, and research opportunities

“This is an excellent opportunity to address the rise of opioid use disorders in our state,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, MDHHS chief psychiatrist. “Through this grant, we will strengthen our networks for prevention and treatment to reduce opioid-related deaths and make treatment more available for those who need it.”

From 1999 to 2014, Michigan saw a four-fold increase in unintentional fatal drug poisonings, and the state was ranked 10th in the nation in per capita prescribing rates of opioid pain relievers in 2012.

Calley led the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force in 2015, which issued recommendations to address the addiction epidemic. In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder created the Michigan Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to implement the task force’s recommendations to combat the opioid epidemic and ensure the health and safety of Michigan residents. Last month, Snyder and Calley joined with a bicameral and bipartisan group of legislators to announce next legislative steps in a primary prevention strategy to better monitor controlled substances and prevent addiction from occurring in the first place. This included legislation from state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, aimed at ending prescription drug abuse through physician diversion.

For more information about substance abuse and mental health in Michigan, including local resources for addiction treatment, visit michigan.gov/bhrecovery.

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