opioid crisis | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

opioid crisis

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Attorneys for local governments across the country unveiled a plan Friday that they say would move the nation closer to a global settlement of lawsuits stemming from the deadly opioid crisis.

Final payouts could rival the massive tobacco settlements of the 1990s. Such a deal, if reached, could funnel tens of billions of dollars to communities struggling with the opioid addiction crisis, while restoring stability to one of the country's biggest industries.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Legislation allowing libraries to stock and administer opioid overdose drugs is on pace to reach the governor’s desk by June. The state Senate Health Policy committee approved four bills Thursday.

Attorney General Dana Nessel
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State officials say they expect to bring legal action against manufacturers, distributors, and other responsible parties behind PFAS contamination around the state, and the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Dana Nessel says she is seeking bids from experts to help the state conduct investigations and bring legal action.

Wikimedia Commons

This week, the St. Clair County jail will start offering some inmates a chance to get on medications that can help them kick opioid addiction.

The state-funded pilot program, which will start with 12 inmates, puts the county among the small but growing ranks whose jails offer addicted inmates some form of medication assisted treatment.

A Livonia family medicine doctor has been sentenced to over eleven years in prison for his role in a prescription drug-diversion scheme.

Doctor Zongli Chang pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme from 2012-2017.

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

Today on Stateside, we look at why people in rural parts of Michigan have difficulty accessing what many doctors consider the most effective treatment for opioid addiction. We also talk about the roots of Islamophobia in the United States, and the financial strain PFAS contamination puts on municipalities.

Corner of a library with bookshelves and a study table
Blue Mountains Library / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

State lawmakers want to give librarians immunity from any issues that could arise if they administer opioid overdose medication. A state House committee passed bills on Tuesday that would do that.

The quiet, secluded nature of libraries makes them an attractive place for some drug users to get their fix. Librarians can administer overdose medication like Narcan. But some don’t carry it because they could be sued if something goes wrong.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

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.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new program will train Michigan doctors to effectively treat people with opioid addictions. The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Spectrum health are partnering on the effort.

The program is called Michigan CARES (Collaborative Addiction Resources and Education System). It aims to tackle the problem of opioid addiction in Michigan.

A state grant gave the program $1.5 million.

Judge's gavel with books
Pixabay.com

Today on Stateside, a federal judge in Detroit has ordered the government to release more than 100 Iraqi nationals, many of them Chaldean Christians. They were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement nearly a year-and-a-half ago. We get reaction from a leader in Michigan's Chaldean-American community. Plus, religious communities have a long history of offering support and asylum to refugees, but that seems to be changing among some white Christians. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Patients who are prescribed opioids for post-surgical pain only use a quarter of their prescriptions on average, according to a new study.

The study from the University of Michigan looked at 2,392 surgical patients across 33 of the state's health systems.

State launches new website to help fight opioid epidemic

Oct 24, 2018
person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
User: frankileon / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The State of Michigan has launched a new website to bring information together in one location about opioid addiction and how to get help.

Before, this information was scattered among various state agencies.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

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.  

United Soybean Board / Flickr

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Michigan soybean farmer on how President Trump's escalating trade war with China is projected to affect the state's agriculture producers. Plus, Stateside's education commentator Matinga Ragatz weighs in on the teacher shortage crisis facing Michigan schools. 

ford field
meesh / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Today on Stateside, a Michigan official responds to the controversy surrounding Wisconsin’s quiet approval of a 2010 request to divert nearly 11 million gallons of Great Lakes water per day. Plus, a comic book that explores the repatriation of Native American remains and the relationship between indigenous tribes and museums.

Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Young people who were prescribed opioids for wisdom tooth extraction have a 2.7-fold increased risk of developing an opioid habit compared to those who were not prescribed opioids. That’s according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

Cindy Shebley / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The opioid crisis is taking a tragic toll on families nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, double the amount from a decade prior.

Among Native Americans, the rate of opioid overdoses is disproportionately higher. In Michigan, opioid-related deaths are nearly twice as high among tribal members compared to other demographics.

Patino distributed 300 free hams to struggling Pontiac residents in 2014. He is now charged with a health care fraud scheme valued at over $100 million.
Brian Tam / Flickr

A Detroit-area doctor who wrote prescriptions for more than 2 million painkiller pills has been charged with health care fraud.

Dr. Frank Patino appeared in Detroit federal court Wednesday. He was returned to jail to await a Friday hearing to determine if he'll stay locked up without bond.

Patino is accused of submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for health care that wasn't performed or wasn't necessary. The value of the alleged scheme is pegged at $112 million.

narcan kit
zamboni-man / FLICKR - https://flic.kr/p/mjCzqS

The opioid epidemic reaches every corner of life in our state.

That includes libraries, where administrators and staff are figuring out the best response if a patron appears to be under the influence of drugs, or potentially experiencing an opioid overdose.

Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The opioid epidemic is causing death and havoc for families all across the United States.

Hundreds of state and local governments have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of the prescription opioids. Among those suing are 50 cities in Michigan.

There is a big hurdle for those Michigan cities to clear, though. A 1995 state law, sponsored by then-state senator Bill Schuette, gave pharmaceutical companies protection from lawsuits filed by consumers.

Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

A county at the tip of Michigan's Thumb is bucking a trend: It won't join a lawsuit against the makers of opioid drugs.

Cities and counties across Michigan are suing drug companies and retailers over the consequences of excessive opioid use. They want the companies to reimburse them for the costs of responding to the crisis.

needle
Partha Sahana / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It began in Switzerland in 1986 as a way to combat overdose deaths and diseases linked to opioid drugs: safe injection sites, also known as supervised injection sites.

It’s a place where users can inject drugs in a clean place, with clean needles, and under medical supervision.

prescription pill bottle
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

The prescription opioid drug addiction problem not only takes its toll on individuals and families. It also costs local governments in many different ways -- from emergency medical services to more police work.

Some municipalities are signing on to a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of the prescription painkillers.

Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Prescription opioids and other addictive medications would have to be dispensed in lockable vials under legislation that was introduced yesterday in the Michigan House. 

The goal of the bill is to deter young people from sneaking small numbers of pills from bottles they find in their homes or the homes of friends.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined a panel discussion on opioid addiction at the University of Michigan Thursday. 

Adams highlighted the challenges of the opioid addiction epidemic, calling for a cultural change in how people use opioid medications.

"We need you all to have discussions in your communities, at your board room tables, at your break room tables, at your dinner tables, about how dangerous these medications can be when used improperly and the fact that in the majority of cases you simply don't need them," said Adams. 

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

There was a punk rock band called The Dead Milkmen that had a fun little run of popularity in the late 1980s. They were goofy and sardonic and unapologetically without polish.

One of their songs was called "Bleach Boys," in which the singer extols the supposed virtues of his buddies all drinking bleach (as opposed to indulging in alcohol or other drugs). It's hilarious.

erocsid / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Last May, Michigan health officials authorized a way for people at risk of opioid overdose to get Naloxone directly from a registered pharmacy without a doctor's prescription.  The authorization also allows family members, friends and other people who may be able to help a person at risk of overdose to obtain Naloxone directly from a registered pharmacy.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a medication designed to reverse overdoses.

Thomas Hawk / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

When President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, he offered some ideas for tackling this national emergency. He didn't offer specific plans or funding for implementation, however.

One of those ideas was telemedicine, which might be especially helpful where America's opioid crisis is at its worst: rural areas.

Jamey Lister, an assistant professor of social work at Wayne State University, joined Stateside to discuss the future of telemedicine and its potential to serve rural populations.

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

Global Panorama / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Recent reports show that the number of organ transplants is rising. While this may be good news to those on an organ waitlist, the reason for the rise — opioid overdose deaths — is troubling.

Dr. Michael Englesbe is a transplant surgeon and an associate professor of transplant surgery at the University of Michigan. He joined Stateside to share his perspective on the opioid crisis.  

frankleleon / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

A federal indictment was unsealed today charging a Livonia doctor and seven other people with conspiracy to illegally distribute highly addictive prescription drugs.

According to the indictment, Dr. Zongli Chang wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances in exchange for cash payments. 

Pages