The Michigan Opioid Partnership, a public-private partnership based at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer have announced a $5 million commitment in support of innovative and evidence-based programs that help people struggling with opioid use disorder.
The partnership will work to reduce the number of opioid overdoses in the state through prevention, treatment, and harm reduction programs that employ a "no wrong door approach" in which barriers are removed for those seeking medication-assisted treatment (MAT), an evidence-based approach to addiction that usually includes both medication and behavioral therapy.
Grants awarded by the partnership — which comprises the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, CFSEM, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, the Jewish Fund, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and the Superior Health Foundation — will support the planning and coordination of treatment for those struggling with opioid use disorder, with funding available to support MAT from the initial point of medical contact in a hospital or emergency room to continued treatment in a community-based program. Funds also will assist jails using a continuity-of-care approach focused on long-term treatment. To date, grants awarded by the partnership include $1.3 million to Beaumont Hospital in southeastern Michigan and Munson Medical Center in the northern region of lower Michigan in support of efforts to change the culture in hospitals and ERs with respect to the epidemic, and $1.5 million for an effort coordinated by the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University to identify substance use disorders as well as expand MAT in county jails.
"The Michigan Opioid Partnership is working to support emerging ideas to help solve the opioid crisis," said CFSEM president Mariam Noland. "Serving addiction innovatively in hospital emergency rooms and in county jails can help set the foundation for what is possible across the state."
"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 two thousand and fifty-three 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."