Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $10 million commitment in support of efforts in Michigan to address the large number of opioid overdose deaths in the state.
Michigan is the second state (after Pennsylvania) selected to participate in a three-year, $50 million initiative launched by the grantmaker to address the opioid crisis in up to ten states. In partnership with Vital Strategies, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Johns Hopkins University, and the CDC Foundation, the initiative will focus on addressing gaps in current treatment and prevention programs and improving access to treatment. Lessons learned will be used to develop a replicable model for deployment nationwide.
From 2016-2017, Michigan saw a 14 percent increase in the number of overdose deaths and now ranks eighth in that category nationally. In the U.S., more than two million people are currently addicted to opioids, which are responsible for more deaths per day than automobile accidents.
"The opioid crisis is a national emergency that calls for bold leadership and big ideas. Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer is committed to reversing the epidemic, and our goal is to support her administration with resources and expertise that can help them save more lives," said Michael R. Bloomberg. "We hope our work in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania spares more families the heartbreak of losing a loved one to opioid addiction or overdose. And by showing that progress is possible, we can create a model for action that other states and organizations can follow."
"We must confront this epidemic from multiple fronts, working hand-in-hand across the government, philanthropic, and private sectors," said CDC Foundation president and CEO Judith Monroe. "This crisis is too large and too vast for us to try any other way. To reduce the number of deaths from opioid overdose, we need to leverage our collective strengths."