February 24 - 28, 2021: Opioid Addiction Awareness Week

WHEREAS, the opioid crisis is a public health epidemic in Michigan and across the United States, contributing to addiction, overdose emergencies, and deaths; and,


WHEREAS, the opioid crisis includes illegal drugs such as heroin and misused or illicitly used prescription pain medications, such as morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone; and,


WHEREAS, the nation’s opioid crisis is unprejudiced in its reach and devastation, impacting all areas of Michigan including urban, suburban, and rural communities, as well as all ages, ethnicities, races, and genders; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that of the 2,599 overdose deaths in Michigan in 2018, 2,036 were from opioid overdoses. Efforts to reduce these preventable deaths must continue, as treatment of opioid use disorders reduces overdose risk and promotes recovery; and,


WHEREAS, the State of Michigan is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic, and those collaborative efforts of state and local agencies amplify Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of individuals, education of health professionals, and enforcement of over-prescribers; and,


WHEREAS, the State of Michigan provides online resources for individuals, health professionals, and communities about opioid abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery. The State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs maintains the Michigan Automated Prescription System, which provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance dependence; and,


WHEREAS, many agencies, communities, and businesses throughout Michigan provide assistance with proper disposal of unwanted medications. Michigan State Police posts serve as medication take-back sites and oversee the Angel Program for individuals seeking help for a substance use disorder; and,


WHEREAS,  these efforts were recommended and supported by the state’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission, which was made up of health professionals, law enforcement officers, substance abuse treatment providers, government officials, and citizens; and,


WHEREAS, the State of Michigan issued a standing order in May of 2017 to pre-authorize the distribution of naloxone by pharmacists to those at risk of an opioid-related overdose, as well as family members, friends, and other persons who may be able to assist a person at risk of overdose;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 24-28, 2021, as Opioid Addiction Awareness Week in Michigan.