Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signs emergency rules to improve reporting of overdoses in Michigan

Requirement will help better track deaths connected to the opioid epidemic

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – To gain a better understanding of how the opioid epidemic is impacting Michiganders, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed emergency rules that require health professionals and facilities to report overdoses, including deaths, to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“The collection of complete overdose data on the circumstances around deaths related to the opioid epidemic continues to be an ongoing challenge,” Calley said. “As the opioid addiction crisis continues to evolve, these new rules ensure we have the most accurate data so that prevention and treatment resources are available where they are most needed.”

The new rules will give MDHHS more accurate records and better track the toll that the opioid epidemic is taking in Michigan. Currently, the agency lacks timely and accurate information on overdoses, making it difficult to track the epidemic, investigate increases, and target programs and interventions to areas most at risk. With these new rules in place, health professionals and facilities are required to report overdoses, including deaths, within five days of MDHHS requesting the data. 

“Information on drug deaths and toxicology reports are often reported to the state differently, and inconsistently, by each county,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Requiring this data be provided and made readily available will help MDHHS better assess critical needs of counties to provide appropriate health warnings, rehabilitation and preventative care for Michigan residents.”

Emergency rules were necessary to quickly improve the reporting process as the state works to prevent deaths related to the opioid-epidemic, as the state has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. MDHHS is working to establish permanent rules related to overdose reporting in the future.

The state is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. The collaborative efforts of state agencies amplify Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of patients, education of health professionals and enforcement of anyone who overprescribes. Efforts include:

  • A new one-stop shop website (Michigan.gov/opioids) with all helpful information and resources on the epidemic.
  • Providing online resources for patients, health professionals and communities about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse.
  • Ensuring the life-saving overdose reversal drug, Naloxone, is available to residents statewide through a standing order.
  • The Michigan Automated Prescription System, which provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance use disorder.
  • Assistance with proper drug disposal of unwanted medications.
  • Michigan State Police posts serving as drug take-back sites and providing the Angel Program for individuals struggling with addiction.

For more information about opioids and the additional steps residents can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit Michigan.gov/opioids.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.

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