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Whitmer seeks to cut opioid deaths in half within 5 years

Posted: 12:59 PM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 12:59:32-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is launching initiatives to cut opioid overdose deaths in half in five years.

Whitmer and other top officials on Thursday announced a series of steps to combat an epidemic that has claimed more than 7,000 lives over five years.

They include removing prior authorization requirements for opioid-treatment medicines in the Medicaid program and spending $1 million on advertising to reduce the stigma around addiction. The state also is expanding medication-assisted treatment in prisons and support for syringe-service programs.

Whitmer says reducing overdose deaths by 50% is “ambitious” but “absolutely doable.” She says government cannot tackle the issue alone and must collaborate with others.