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Michigan announces $80 million for opioids crisis response

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Opioids

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Michigan Opioids Task Force announced $80 million in federal funding to respond to the ongoing opioids crisis. The funds will support prevention, treatment, and harm reduction services, with a focus on evidence-based practices that save lives.  

“The opioid epidemic has devastated families across Michigan, and we must continue to do everything we can to end it. This funding will help prevent more opioid deaths and help those struggling with addiction recover,” said Governor Whitmer. “I will continue working closely with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and members of the Michigan Opioids Task Force to keep Michiganders safe.” 

The funding includes $36.4 million from the new State Opioid Response II (SOR II) grant and $43.1 million from an extension of the current State Opioid Response I (SOR I) grant. Over the last five years, opioid overdoses have killed 8,000 Michiganders. In 2018, five people died on average every day from opioid overdoses. The crisis has become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic; calls to emergency medical services for opioid overdose were 22 percent higher from April to July 2020 than during the same period in 2019. 

Michigan’s opioids crisis response is supported by grants from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The SOR II grant begins Sept. 30 and continues for two years. MDHHS also received approval to extend the SOR I grant for a third year from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021. The MDHHS Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration, Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care is the recipient and administrator of the grants. 

“Opioid overdose continues to be an ongoing crisis in Michigan and MDHHS is acting with utmost urgency to expand services that save lives, including medications to treat opioid use disorder and naloxone, the life-saving opioid reversal medication,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “We urge local governments, health providers, law enforcement, and organizations around the state to partner with us in this vital mission.”  

Many prevention and treatment programs are implemented by region in Michigan. Organizations interested in participating in these programs – including treatment providers, hospitals, community organizations, law enforcement agencies, and others – are encouraged to reach out to regional representatives.

Inquiries about statewide strategy can be directed to MDHHS-OpioidsTaskForce@michigan.gov. 

For more information on the state’s opioids crisis response, please visit Michigan.gov/Opioids. 

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