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Gov. Rick Snyder creates new council to combat opioid epidemic in Michigan

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley appointed chair 

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – To improve coordination of Michigan’s efforts to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic, Gov. Rick Snyder today signed Executive Directive 2017-2, establishing the Council on Opioid and Prescription Drug Enforcement (COPE).

This council, which was recommended by the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, will address, develop and maintain relationships among local, state and federal agencies charged with enforcing the laws and regulations.

“We must ensure all partners are working together effectively if we are going to combat this epidemic and protect all Michiganders,” Snyder said. “This council will open up the lines of communication and allow for a better use of resources while working to reduce opioid abuse and prevent addiction from occurring in the first place.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will lead the council, in conjunction with the directors of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Michigan State Police. The council will coordinate with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, and other relevant agencies involved in the enforcement of laws and regulations related to opioids for their input and participation on this council.

“The opioid epidemic is destroying lives and families every day,” Calley said. “It is an emergency and we need to go above and beyond to combat it. I’m proud to lead this council and improve coordination among everyone involved so that we can save more lives and prevent addiction from occurring.”

Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths. From 1999-2015 more than 8,900 people have died from an opioid overdose with over 50 percent of those deaths occurring since 2010.

COPE will meet monthly to discuss trends, targets, methods, major cases, and other relevant information to address prescription drug and opioid abuse across Michigan, as well as share information and ideas with the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission as appropriate.