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Health, Science and Environment

Lieutenant Governor Calley signs emergency opioid rules

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In an effort to combat the continued rise in opioid related deaths, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley Friday signed emergency rules requiring overdoses to be reported to state health officials. Daniel Boothe reports.

In the hopes of gaining insight into how the opioid epidemic is impacting Michigan residents, on Friday Michigan Lieutenant Governor Calley signed emergency rules requiring “health professionals…to report overdoses and deaths to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.”

According to Calley, the epidemic in Michigan has gotten so bad that there are now more deaths each year caused by overdosing on opioids than there are car accidents.

“The opioid epidemic is the number one cause of accidental death. And there is not one single answer to it. We need strong prevention but we also need to help people who have already become addicted,” Calley said. “And we are just hoping to build public awareness, and get ahead of this epidemic, and reduce the death toll, and get people their lives back.”

According to the governor’s office, the new rules signed by Calley will ultimately give the MDHHS more accurate records and better track the toll that the opioid epidemic is taking in Michigan.

In 2017, opioids claimed the lives of nearly 2000 Michiganders, an increase of about 200 from the year before. Nationally the number is even more staggering: according to a study released in January, more Americans died from opioids last year than the number of American lives lost in the entire Vietnam War.