Published in Health Care

Bloomberg Philanthropies gives $10 million to fight Michigan opioid crisis

BY Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:53am

Michigan has received $10 million from New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of a national initiative to address the opioid crisis.

The New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies chose Michigan and Pennsylvania as the first two states to receive funding through a $50 million initiative aimed at the fast-rising opioid overdose death rate.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

“The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest health crises of our lifetime, and we need to marshal all forces necessary to fight back,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “The opioid crisis affects nearly every county in Michigan. These funds will help our state advance a comprehensive plan and implement critical interventions that can make the biggest impact to reduce overdose deaths.”

Michigan ranks eighth in U.S. in the number of overdose deaths from opioids. The state recorded 2,694 drug overdose deaths in 2017, a 14-percent increase from the 2,335 deaths in 2016, according to an announcement today form the governor’s office. Opioids were responsible for more than three-quarters of the drug overdose deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2017, including more than 47,000 from opioid overdoses. These are the highest numbers on record.

More than 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to opioids, which are responsible for about 130 deaths in America every day. By comparison, there are about 102 deaths in America per day from car crashes, according to the CDC.

“The opioid crisis is a national emergency that calls for bold leadership and big ideas. Governor Whitmer is committed to reversing the epidemic, and our goal is to support her administration with resources and expertise that can help them save more lives,”  Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. 

The funding will go to identify new ways to fill gaps in the current treatment and prevention programs, with the goal of replicating the models in other states, according to a statement. 

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