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Health, Science and Environment

State announces 2020 town halls for feedback on plan to reduce opioid overdose deaths

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State health officials will be looking for feedback on how best to tackle the opioid crisis at town halls they’ll hold across the state in 2020.

The town halls are part of Governor Whitmer’s efforts to cut opioid-related overdose deaths in half over the next five years.

In 2018 the state recorded more than two-thousand opioid-related overdose deaths.

Lynn Sutfin is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said the state has three primary goals.

“We’re going to try and prevent opioid misuse in the first place, ensuring that those who are using opioids in the first place, and then try to reduce the harm that is being caused by opioids.”

Sutfin said the town halls will be used to localize the state’s efforts.

“We know that there is not one solution that is going to fix this crisis and we know it’s not one size fits all,” she said. “One solution that might work in Southeast Michigan might not work in the Upper Peninsula.”

“It’ll help us develop a crisis response that is flexible. Something that is going to help us fit the needs of communities whether your in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Marquette. Something that can be adjusted to suit that communities needs.”

The town halls will be held in Gaylord and Flint, among other locations.