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State Health Department Plans to Cut Fatal Opioid Overdoses in Half By 2025



The state health department has released the latest annual report on opioid use in Michigan. It highlights the state's efforts to respond to the epidemic.


Experts said the preliminary data show since the pandemic began there has been an increase in drug overdose deaths in Michigan. 


The Michigan Opioids Task Force Annual Report, outlined a seven-pillar strategy that emphasized prevention, treatment and equity to address the issue. 


Amy Dolinky is the Senior Advisor of Michigan Opioids Strategy with the department of Health and Human Services. 


“So the pillars that we have are really intended to address all of the impacts of the opioid crisis. We know that opioid-use disorder and the opioid crisis really encompasses in the broader substance abuse crisis that is occurring.”   


Dolinky said in 2019, more than two-thousand people died in Michigan from opioid overdoses. That amounts to around five people every day.


She said there was an increase in fatal drug overdoses in minority communities.


“We know that in 2018 and 2019 our overdose fatality numbers were experiencing an overall decline but we did see an increase among the African American community. And as we go into 2020, the data that we have now is only preliminary but it is showing an increase.”


Doctor Dani Meier is the Chief Clinical Officer for Mid-State Health Network.


He said the report shows over the past three years, overdose deaths have increased in the African American community, while they have decreased in the population at large.


“Mid Michigan rural counties that are not as urbanized. We see more disparities along the lines of socioeconomic status which is often related to race but not exclusively."

Meier said the state’s goal is to reduce opioid overdose deaths in Michigan in half by 2025.


Gena is reporting as part of the Michigan News Group Internship.  A collaboration between WCMU and eight community newspapers. Gena is based at the Big Rapids Pioneer


Gena is a rising junior at Central Michigan University, double majoring in broadcast and cinematic arts and political science.