Digital Health

New report suggests Michigan’s opioid crisis continues to pose a threat

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Posted: May 19, 2021 / 05:49 PM EDT / Updated: May 19, 2021 / 05:51 PM EDT

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—The Michigan Opioids Task Force and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released their 2020 annual opioid crisis report. The data shows the opioid pandemic increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also provides Michigan’s strategy to combat the epidemic.

Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive, and Chief Deputy Director for the Dept. of Health and Human Services told 6 News there could be many reasons why the opioid drug use exacerbated amid COVID-19. Dr. Khaldun says one cause could be COVID-19 restrictions and less access to medical health providers.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer claims to decrease the number of opioid drug addiction deaths within five years. Michigan state health officials are working with the Michigan Opioids Task Force on a seven-prong strategy. The layout includes; prevention, treatment, harm reduction, criminal-justice involved, pregnancy & parenting, data, and equity.

Each of the categories will help fight the growing number of cases. Health officials will focus on educating the community on prevention treatment, addressing racial disparities with opioid-related cases, and strengthening treatment in the criminal justice system like prisons, courts, and jails.

Each of the categories will help fight the growing number of cases. Health officials will focus on educating the community on prevention treatment, addressing racial disparities with opioid-related cases, and strengthening treatment in the criminal justice system like prisons, courts, and jails.

“We are aggressively working to provide resources to Michigan communities not everyone has the same access to medications that treat the opioid disorder,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. ” We removed prior authorization within our medical program for medications that treat opioid use disorder so that’s one less barrier, or hurdle patients have to go through to get access to treatment.”

The report states in 2019 over 1,700 Michiganders died from an opioid-related cause, and Ingham County is on the list of the top ten counties with opioid-related deaths. Michigan currently does not have the final data set for 2020.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun told 6 News the report is alarming but if the Michigan community works together we can have a brighter future.

“We can prevent addiction, we can get people access, and understand they can help themselves,” Dr. Khaldun said, “or help their family members as well, and we have resources at the department and across the state, our local health departments.”

Source: https://www.wlns.com/digital-exclusives/new-report-suggests-michigans-opioid-crisis-continues-to-pose-a-threat/

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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