Michigan Receives $35 Million in Funding to Combat Opioid Crisis

October 14, 2019

Although the national opioid epidemic may tentatively show signs of slowing down, the amount of funding being granted to fight it isn’t dwindling any time soon. In fact, the state of Michigan just received nearly $35 million in federal funds to combat the crisis — as well as the support of the Trump administration.

Opioid addiction has been an issue in most states throughout the nation. In 2017, for instance, providers in Ohio wrote 63.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, which certainly added to the statewide opioid problem. But opioid dependency and abuse has affected Michigan residents, as well. Although drug overdose deaths in Michigan did decline slightly from 2017 to 2018 (from 2,665 to 2,531, with roughly 1,941 deaths last year being attributed to opioids), the improvement isn’t significant enough to say that the local community is in the clear.

As a result, the federal government has earmarked significant funding — to the tune of $35 million in grants — to combat the opioid crisis in Michigan. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is giving the state nearly $28 million to support prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding just over $7 million to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in order to improve overdose death tracking and data access. The former grant is part of a $932 million grant that’s being split among every state in the nation, while the latter CDC grant is one part of a $300 million grant being divided between 47 states, the District of Columbia, 16 counties or cities, and two territories.

In a totally separate round of funding, the University of Michigan also recently received a hefty sum — $25.5 million, to be exact — from the National Institutes of Health, meant to support research and projects aimed at preventing and treating opioid addiction and abuse as part of the National Institutes of Health’s Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative. The initiative was established just last year as a means of funding research work to not only decrease opioid use and misuse but to explore alternative treatments for chronic pain and assist in lifelong addiction recovery.

Said Michigan’s Senator Peters in a statement, “In every corner of our state, the opioid crisis has impacted the lives of too many Michiganders. I’m pleased that Michigan is receiving this federal funding to strengthen prevention efforts and access to treatment. These resources will make a difference for families and communities across our state battling this epidemic. I will continue advocating for federal efforts that support Michigan’s work to aggressively combat this public health crisis.”

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