Lt. Gov. Brian Calley leading effort to develop statewide strategy
June 18, 2015
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the creation of a task force focused on addressing the growing prescription drug and opioid problem in Michigan, chaired by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
“Prescription drug and opioid addiction has quadrupled the number of unintentional drug deaths in our state since 1999 and we must come together to reverse this trend before more Michiganders are hurt,” Calley said.
Opioids are powerful pain killers that are highly addictive. Opioid dependence affects millions of people in the United States and prescribed opioids can lead to the use of highly addictive and dangerous illegal substances, especially heroin.
The Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force is a result of the call for a comprehensive plan to address prescription drug and opioid abuse in Gov. Snyder’s 2015 State of the State address. The bipartisan task force will examine the recent trends, evaluate strategic options, and develop a statewide action plan by fall 2015. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes $1.5 million to address statewide concerns on this issue.
Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon also will have leadership roles. The remainder of the task force will include other stakeholders from state government as well as medical, law enforcement and court officials.
“The damaging effects of drugs like opioids are hurting our families and communities,” Schuette said. “We must work together to help end this growing epidemic before it hurts public safety and our economic recovery.”
The members include:
The state began efforts to address this problem in 2014 with the signing of legislation, sponsored by Rep. Forlini, requiring EMS responders to be trained to administer antidotes for opioids that can save lives in the case of an overdose.