Michigan Selected to Join National Project to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

Contact: Angela Minicuci 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – The National Governors Association (NGA) has selected Michigan to participate in a program focused on reducing prescription drug abuse throughout the United States. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) will spearhead Michigan’s role in the year-long Policy Academy on Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse program to develop a comprehensive, statewide action plan. Minnesota, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Vermont have also been selected to join the project.

“Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern in our communities, throughout our state, and across our nation,” said James K. Haveman, director of the MDCH. “The Policy Academy is an excellent opportunity for key policy makers within Michigan to collaborate with others across the nation to find better, innovative ways to protect the health of our residents.”

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States – a pattern that has been mirrored in Michigan. During the ten-year period from 2003 to 2012, the state’s pharmaceutical drug overdose death rate increased by 136 percent. The Policy Academy on Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse offers healthcare leaders an arena to create broader partnerships with other state agencies and organizations, and opportunities to implement the coordination of efforts and resources to combat the abuse of prescription drugs.

Through the Policy Academy, participants will learn about evidence-based interventions and policies that will align with current, ongoing initiatives and partners. Selected states were chosen on an application basis, and over the next year, will participate in collaborative efforts including two, two-day meetings with other policy academy states; an in-state workshop facilitated by NGA Center for Best Practices staff; and develop a comprehensive, strategic plan for reducing prescription drug abuse.

For more information about the NGA’s Center for Best Practices, visit www.nga.org/cms/Rx. For information about MDCH’s strategic plan for reducing prescription drugs and over the counter drug abuse, visit http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2941_4871_29888_48562-149065--,00.html.  

# # #