According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people dying from overdoses involving prescription opioids was five times higher in 2016 than 1999.
Legislation awaiting President Trump’s signature aims to bring that number down.
The bill enhances access for medication assisted treatment, provides grant money to increase capacity at treatment centers and increases screening and drug management programs.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force. He says the federal government‘s support of opioid addiction treatment indicates the changing stigma of drug abuse.
“Addiction changes the biology of the brain, it’s a health care issue that requires a health care response,” Calley said.
Calley says one positive step in tackling the opioid crisis is a reduction in the amount of opioids doctors are prescribing.