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Today on Stateside, a conversation about the dismal state of special education in Michigan in light of a recent report that names it as the only state in need of federal intervention to help improve special education curriculum. Plus, an environmental health expert talks about the potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure. 

Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

A pilot project in western Wayne County will offer people struggling with opioid addiction a possible path to recovery.

The Rescue Recovery program will provide people referred from St. Mary Mercy Livonia hospital or one of 18 participating law enforcement agencies with the opportunity to go through specialized detoxification treatment at the hospital.

Person in gray hoodie with one hand cuffed and the other cuff hanging open in front of a cloudy sky
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Think of someone with cancer, or hypertension, or diabetes.

Imagine hauling a person with cancer or diabetes before a judge, and charging him with a crime for having that disease? Obviously not, but that's what's happening to people in the grips of the disease of addiction. 

A program called Hope Not Handcuffs is trying to change that paradigm by working with police agencies and the courts. 

Stacy Peck, Tyler Trowbridge, and Wendy Botts
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

 


The opioid epidemic has been devastating to families and communities across America. For those struggling with addiction, getting clean can be a grueling process, even when they are able to get into a rehab facility. 

Tyler Trowbridge knows that struggle well, which is why he helped design Dirt City Sanctuary. Trowbridge, along with his co-founders Stacy Peck and Wendy Botts, joined Stateside to talk about their efforts to build a new kind of community for recovering addicts. 

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Julia Simonelli says when she walked into the Michigan State Police post in Cadillac and told them she needed addiction treatment, police spent hours trying to find the right rehab center for her.

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Opioid addiction and meth use are making news almost every day, but tackling today’s drug epidemic isn’t easy. Treatments like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous might work for some who struggle with addiction, but not for others.

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan has a fierce fight on its hands. A fight to keep people out of the clutches of opioid and heroin addiction. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers some stunning numbers that show how badly this fight is going. 

In 1999 there were 99 heroin or opioid overdose deaths. In 2014, that number climbed to 1,001. 

That's 10 times as many deaths in just 15 years.

Chris O'Droski and Caitlin Darfler told us that many people struggling with addiction simply don't know there are alternative to Alchoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
Flickr User Chris Yarzab / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When it comes to finding a pathway to helping an addict to recovery, most people and most courts think of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The popular view is that AA and NA are the only ways for someone to get clean and sober, and stay that way.

But there are other options, organizations like SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery and the Buddhist Recovery Network

For some, these alternatives can do what AA and NA could not.

Mark Ilgen says ImPAT is a "psychotherapeutic ... non-pharmacological approach" to helping people adapt to and cope with their pain.
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's become clear that America is in the grips of an opioid addiction epidemic.

But here's a dilemma: what if you're in pain? Is there a way to help patients get relief from pain without resorting to powerful pain medicines that can get you addicted?

A new study indicates the answer could be yes, through something called ImPAT, or Improving Pain during Addiction Treatment. 

According to Waller, opiate addiction is a chronic neurological disorder.
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"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

In 2014, Michigan became the first state to create a set of detailed guidelines for treating people addicted to heroin and other opioid drugs. 

The guidelines were praised by many in the treatment community as being clear, understandable and taking addiction treatment in Michigan to the next level.

Dr. Corey Waller is the doctor who wrote those guidelines. 

Mark Ilgen says ImPAT is a "psychotherapeutic ... non-pharmacological approach" to helping people adapt to and cope with their pain.
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some cities have been looking at a program that takes a different approach to people with addictions who sometimes have run-ins with the law.

In Michigan, Escanaba is trying the new approach. It's called the ANGEL Program.

Escanaba City Manager Jim O'Toole​ joined us to talk about it.

Carolyn Gearig / Michigan Radio

Michigan has a serious opioid problem. A new task force is looking for public input on how to fix it.

In 2013, more than 400 people in Michigan died from drug overdoses – mainly heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin. At least 3,000, at the very least, have died since 2005.

Carolyn Gearig / Michigan Radio

In 2013, Michigan’s drug-related death rate was 18.5 deaths per 100,000 people*, higher than most other states in the country. The U.S. average was 14.6.