Michigan is getting $10 million to battle the opioid addiction crisis from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation. Bloomberg and Governor Whitmer made the announcement Thursday in a joint editorial in the Detroit News.
Bloomberg and Whitmer say the federal government has failed to make and fund a comprehensive strategy to reduce opioid death rates.
"State governments have already been out front on this issue in ways the federal government hasn’t – coming up with real, practical solutions and passing legislation that helps people addicted to opioids, and helps prevent addiction in the first place. But states need more support," wrote Whitmer and Bloomberg.
Bloomberg Philanthropies aims to create state-level models to build a better response to the opioid crisis. The foundation has pledged to invest $50 million in states greatly affected by the crisis. Michigan is the second state it has chosen as part of that effort.
Bloomberg and Whitmer say their immediate goal is to save as many lives as they can. Michigan currently ranks eighth in the country in the number of overdose deaths, and more than three quarters of those deaths are opioid-related.
Initial plans for the money include getting more of the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone into people’s hands, and expanding access to medication-assisted rehabilitation programs that help people kick opioid addiction.