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Opioid Settlement Resources
About the Opioid Settlements
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a broad group of substances best known for their benefits as pain relievers and for the euphoric effects they can produce. These effects are created by the interaction theses substances have with opioid receptors in the human body.
Beyond pain relief and recreation, opioids have other positive effects on the human body. For example, they can reduce anxiety and other mental health ailments. Some opioids can also be used as a cough suppressant and anti-diarrheal. People begin using opioids, both legally and illegally, to experience these positive effects. Unfortunately, using opioids places a person at risk for experiencing negative health outcomes. These could include dependence, criminal justice involvement, exposure to communicable disease, and accidental poisoning (overdose).
Illicit (Illegal) Opioids
Illicit (illegal) opioids, such as heroin, differ very little chemically from their prescription counterparts. However, because they are manufactured illegally, they are not subject to the rigorous quality control standards that legally manufactured opioids are. Because of this, quality and purity can vary greatly. An increase in potent additives, such as fentanyl and xylazine, have been detected in Michigan’s illicit drug supply. Several Michigan Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) offer test strips to detect the presence of these additives in drug samples. Please contact your local SSP prior to visiting to ensure they offer the service(s) you are seeking.
Prescription opioids can be produced, prescribed, and dispensed legally by licensed providers in Michigan. However, theses prescription drugs can also be diverted and obtained illicitly. View a list of, and learn more about, commonly prescribed opioids (CDC).
When properly prescribed for pain in certain patients, opioid medications can have immense benefits to the patient’s health and well-being that can often not be achieved as effectively with other treatments. It is important that prescribers balance the benefits and risks when prescribing these medications, and that they are trained specifically in opioid prescribing for management of chronic pain. For many people, problematic opioid use began with pain management or when they began using someone else's pain medication. Learn more about efforts to reduce over-prescribing and opioid medication diversion.
How Do People Use Opioids?
There are numerous routes by which opioids can be administered. Prescribed opioids are most commonly taken orally. However, some may be prescribed for transdermal, sublingual, submucosal, or other routes of administration where medically indicated. Prescription and illicit opioids are often administered for nonmedical use through routes such as intravenous injection, subcutaneous injection, insufflation (snorting), inhalation (smoking), and rectal absorption (boofing). Health risks vary between routes, but generally increase when opioids are used nonmedically. Health risks include HIV, hepatitis C and other communicable disease infection, as well as increased risk for accidental drug poisoning (overdose). These risks can be mitigated with harm reduction education and access to sterile medical supplies.
Find Help for Those Using Substances
If you or a loved one are experiencing issues with opioid, or other substance use, we have resources to help. Click below to find more information naloxone access, the Drug Abuse Hotline, a list of treatment facilities, and other resources.
Get Naloxone - Save a Life!
Naloxone (commonly known by the brand name Narcan) is a life-saving medication used to reverse the effect of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is easy to use, not addictive, and has very little potential to harm someone. In Michigan, it is legal for anyone to possess and use naloxone if they suspect an overdose. Learn more about naloxone, how to use it, and where to get it.
How is Michigan Responding to the Overdose Epidemic?
Since 2000, opioid overdose deaths have grown ten-fold in Michigan. This epidemic impacts thousands of Michiganders and their families, friends, and communities. It’s one of the greatest public health crises of our lifetimes, and we must respond urgently.
Planning Resources for Local Governments
There are is an ever-increasing array of resources available to assist local governments and communities as they plan for investing opioid settlement funds. For an extensive and well-organized list of those resources, please visit The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) Opioid Settlement Resource Library. This library highlights resources to explore principles and tracking, evidence-based and promising practices, local government tools, legal resources, equity resources, other toolkits and reports and additional opportunities for funding.
If you represent a local municipal, township, or county government and are interested in assistance in applying best practice to your settlement fund investments, please click the link below and complete the form. You can also email MDHHS-OpioidSettlementHelp@Michigan.gov with your request and to sign up for the MDHHS Settlement Mailing List.
Technical Assistance Providers for Local Governments
Michigan Association of Counties (MAC)
The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) Opioid Settlement Resource Center website is a centralized hub for county governments engaged in planning and utilization of opioid settlement funds. The resource center houses a settlement dashboard, a toolkit for local planning, templates for local government use, a resource library and technical assistance request form. The Michigan Opioid Settlement Toolkit: A Guide for Local Spending, developed by the Michigan Association of Counties in partnership with Vital Strategies, is a roadmap for local governments to assist with planning for, and utilization of, opioid settlement funds. The document is intended to be a tool and provide direction on process and linkage to existing resources provided by local and national entities. Support and technical assistance are available through completion of the Opioid Settlement Assistance Request Form
Michigan Opioid Settlement Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC)
The Michigan Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) In 2023, MDHHS contracted three state universities to assist in providing technical assistance to county governments as they plan for investing Opioid Settlement funds. Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan will provide individualized technical assistance to priority counties. Universities will also host learning collaboratives, and provide other resources, that will be made available to all local governments. Request a Technical Assistance Consultation.
Opioid Technical Assistance Learning Series Webinars
- May 16th, 2023 - Determining Local Needs and Assets through Engaged Community Assessment (Flier) (PPT) (Recording)
- June 8th, 2023 - Overview of the Opioid Settlement & Discussion on Exhibit E (Flier) (PPT) (Recording)
- July 27th, 2023 - Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Jails (Flier) (PPT) (Recording)
Guides to Support State and Local Settlement Investment Planning
- Johns Hopkins - Principals for the Use of Funds from the Opioid Litigation
- Johns Hopkins - Primer on Spending Funds from The Opioid Litigation (PDF)
- Johns Hopkins - Ten Indicators to Assess the Readiness of State and Local Governments to Receive the Opioid Settlements Funds
- Rand - Strategies for Effectively Allocating Opioid Settlement Funds
- Vital Strategies - Guide for Community Advocates on the Opioid Settlement
National Technical Assistance Providers
- Overdose Response Network
- Providers Clinical Support System
- Drug User Health - National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)
- National Opioids Settlement Tracker
- Non-Opioid Remediation Use Reporting
- National Opioid Abatement Trust II
Other State Websites
- Colorado Attorney General Site
- Kentucky Attorney General Site
- Minnesota Attorney General Site
- New York Attorney General Site