Michigan Lawmakers Announce Bills After Opioid Deaths Spike

LANSING, Mich (AP) — A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers introduced a package deal of payments Wednesday to curb opioid overdose deaths within the state, which specialists say spiked through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement got here throughout a media convention to mandate supportive practices in hospitals and improve entry to life-saving drugs.

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the state had seen some success in decreasing the variety of opioid-related deaths, even making it a goal to chop the variety of deaths in half by 2024. In 2019, opioid-related overdose deaths decreased by 13.2% from 2018, according to the state. However, from January to June of 2020, opioid-related overdose deaths elevated by 20% from the identical months in 2019, from 874 to 1,045 deaths.

An common of 5 folks a day died from an opioid overdose in 2019, stated Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical officer.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic means we’ve had to fight two crises at the same time, and early data, unfortunately, suggests that we actually saw an increase in overdoses in 2020,” Khaldun stated. “These deaths are absolutely tragic, but they are preventable as well.”

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One invoice within the package deal expands entry to Naloxone, a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose, for neighborhood organizations.

Anxiety and isolation stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly led to the rise of opioid-related overdose deaths seen in 2020, Rep. Mary Whiteford stated. As a former pediatric emergency nurse, Whiteford stated she has administered Naloxone and has listened to households who’ve misplaced their family members to overdoses who desperately prayed for the second likelihood the life-saving drug can present.

Another one of many payments seeks to finish the cycle of those that’ve overdosed from overdosing once more by requiring hospitals to ascertain medication-assisted remedy and develop partnerships with community-based applications to scale back overdose deaths and the necessity for acute care. Hospitals would obtain monetary help to create and implement protocols.

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