Nessel enters coalition for states’ role in public health, opioid overdose prevention

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DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 16: Dana Nessel, attorney for plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, talks to the news media about U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s decision today to send a case that could possibly have overturned Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriages to trial instead of making an immediate ruling on the matter in a hearing at the U.S. Courthouse October 16, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The lawsuit was brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a gay couple who are raising three adopted children together. Michigan passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Along with 11 other attorneys’ general, Dana Nessel is supporting states’ rights in public health policies that could aid in opioid overdose prevention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 136 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Opioid deaths have been on the rise in the United States since 1999. The death toll now totals nearly 500,000. 

The coalition is being led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine, who is asking the Supreme Court to review a ruling by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that prevents Safehouse, a Pennsylvania nonprofit, from operating a lifesaving “safe injection site” that can prevent opioid overdose deaths.

This medically supervised site would allow opioid users access to immediate medical care in the event of an overdose

According to a release from Nessel, the Trump Administration previously sued to prevent Safehouse from operating the program. 

“Preventing Safehouse and entities like it from operating will not save lives or reverse the harm inflicted by this ongoing epidemic – it only penalizes people struggling with an opioid addiction,” Nessel said. “It should be up to individual states and communities to oversee and implement public health policies and I join my colleagues in urging the Supreme Court to hear this case.” 

A few main points of the brief filed by the coalition include the impact of the opioid crisis, the need for state and local intervention, the pandemic’s role in the opioid crisis and states’ roles in the opioid crisis.

To read the coalition’s stance in its entirety, click here.

Joining Attorney General Nessel in this brief are the attorneys general from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.  

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