Michigan has taken action to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse deaths and increase access to treatment for people addicted to drugs. Here you’ll find helpful information if you or someone you know may have a substance use disorder and what you can do to help end this deadly epidemic.
If you or a loved one is in need of opioid addiction treatment, you can find resources available for your county by clicking here.
Additional Treatment Resources.
Michigan's Good Samaritan Law
In order to prioritize saving lives, Michigan passed a Good Samaritan law in 2016.
Michigan’s Good Samaritan law prevents drug possession charges against those that seek medical assistance for an overdose in certain circumstances. This law makes saving lives the priority during a drug overdose, not criminal prosecutions of illegal drug users.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
For those that are addicted to opioids, alcohol, or tobacco, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) may be necessary, along with counseling. Find out more information.
In the event of an opioid overdose, there is a drug that can be used that can reverse the effects of the opioid. Find out what Naloxone is and how it’s used.
Prescription Drugs and Opioids in Michigan
Prescription drug misuse is a serious problem in Michigan. Prescription drug overdose deaths are on the rise across the state. Two types of prescription drugs are the leading cause of misuse. These are painkillers (opioids) and tranquilizers (benzodiazepines). Opioids include both illegal drugs, such as heroin, and prescription pain medicine. Common opioids used to treat pain include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, and codeine.
From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan, from 99 to 1,689. Data from the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) reported 11.4 million prescription for painkillers in 2015 were written, about 115 opioid prescriptions per 100 people.
Overdose deaths significantly increased as a result of increased prescription drug and heroin use.
A new development in the opioid crisis has been the increase of synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids are chemically manufactured drugs. Synthetic opioids that are appearing across Michigan include fentanyl and carfentanil. These drugs are far more powerful and deadly than other opioids. Synthetic opioids are often mixed with heroin. Heroin users are often unaware that these powerful drugs are mixed into their heroin. Synthetic opioids are likely contributing to the increase in overdose deaths.
In 2016, 2,335 people died of drug overdoses. That is more deaths than car accidents.
This website provides information on prescription drug and opioid misuse prevention and treatment for patients and families, prescribers, community members, and pharmacists.
Information for Opioid Prescribers
State and federal government are acting to reduce improper prescribing of prescription drugs. Information on prescribing guidelines and updated monitoring systems is provided in this section.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a toolkit to reduce opioid misuse.
Information for Pharmacists
The State of Michigan and the federal government are acting to reduce misuse of prescription drugs.
Information on updated prescription drug monitoring program and the naloxone standing order is found here.
The MDHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a toolkit for reducing opioid abuse.
Strategies to prevent overdose deaths
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created a toolkit for prescription drug and opioid misuse.
SAMHSA provides 5 strategies for communities to prevent prescription drug misuse and deaths. Efforts are under way to address all 5 strategies in Michigan. However, there is more that communities can do to reduce prescription drug misuse.
These strategies are: