New programs get $5 million to focus on treating opioid addiction in Michigan

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jun 17, 2019

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that statewide partners have committed $5 million for new programs focused on treating opioid addiction in the state.

Whitmer and the Michigan Opioid Partnership announced the strategy that combines public and private funds for the program. The grants announced will fund planning, training and coordinating treatment for opioid use disorder.

With the funds, two hospitals in Michigan, Beaumont and Munson Medical Center, will start pilot programs establishing the Medication Assisted Treatment Program which is focused on long-term treatment of opioid use disorder.

“Opioid overdoses and deaths have hurt families all over Michigan,” said Whitmer. “The number of annual opioid-related overdose deaths in the state has more than tripled since 2011, with 2,053 opioid overdoses in 2017 alone. If we’re going to tackle the opioid crisis and get Michigan families on track to recovery, we need to build strong partnerships between state government, philanthropy, and the medical community. I’m grateful for this partnership and am ready to work with this team and everyone else who wants to reduce opioid deaths here in Michigan.”

“We are thrilled to receive this funding to help with our efforts to combat the opioid crisis in our community,” said Dr. Les Rocher, Chief Medical Officer for Beaumont Health. “We plan to launch a pilot, team-based program at our Royal Oak campus called, ‘The Beaumont Addiction Medicine Service.’ The program will start hospitalized patients, who are admitted for medical/surgical conditions and are diagnosed with opioid use disorder, on medication assisted treatment before they leave the hospital."

On top of that, $1.5 million will go to expanding medication-assisted treatment and enhance identification of substance use disorders at jail intake. The Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice will get the grant to help coordinate that effort. County jails will also be selected for funding to work with WSU.

The 16-month project will build a lasting partnership between the criminal justice system and substance abuse treatment communities.

“Enhancing continuity of care to include jails will assist individuals with opioid use disorder in either continuing or beginning MAT within the jail,” stated Sheryl Kubiak, dean of the Wayne State School of Social Work and director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. “Interfacing with the jail provides another important opportunity for intervention in our communities and reduces the likelihood individual’s with opioid use disorders will return to jail. We are committed to improving the lives of those who reside in Michigan.”