The opioid crisis is a pervasive menace for many local communities, as it drains public resources and taxes first response systems, not to mention its devastating effect on users and their families.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is continuing efforts to remedy the complex situation. The organization has been working to reduce the stigma of the disease by referencing dependence as “opioid use disorder” and has made changes to expedite access to medicines that help with withdrawal. Now, another effort is underway with a series of townhall meetings hosted by the MDHHS and the Opioids Task Force, with the goal of seeking feedback from residents.
According to a statement from MDHHS, “The state’s strategy addresses three key areas: preventing opioid misuse, ensuring individuals using opioids can access high-quality recovery treatment and reducing the harm caused by opioids to individuals and their communities.”
Michigan has also gone after the source of many opioids by filing an historic lawsuit against companies such as Walgreens, Cardinal Health, and others, citing them for irresponsible distribution, failure to monitor orders, and cooperation with “pill mills”. The suit was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court and seeks to recoup funds spent on added law enforcement and rehabilitation expenses related to opioid abuse incurred by the state. To get involved in the Town Halls and see the full schedule of meetings, visit Michigan.gov.
Reporting for WGRT, Karly Hurley.