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Michigan Radio

Oakland and Wayne County Executives have filed suit in federal court against 13 opioid drug manufacturers and distributors.

They claim the drug makers' deceptive marketing campaigns over many years contributed heavily to the current opioid addiction crisis.

In 2016, there were 817 opioid-related deaths in Wayne County, a 61 percent increase over the previous year. In Oakland County, opioid-related deaths have risent from 9 in 2009 to 33 in 2015. 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are introducing legislation to help fight rising opioid abuse.

  A group of bipartisan lawmakers is looking to tackle the drug epidemic in Michigan through a variety of ways, including health education in schools and creating prescription limits on opioids. They also are promoting the use of an updated database that monitors prescriptions.

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

There’s a young couple in Washtenaw County trying to get off heroin. They say so far, they’re doing great. After 22 months in treatment, she’s going to community college and he says he’s working at a high-end grocery store.

They’re just two of the 20,000 low-income Michiganders who now have free access to drug treatment.

But because it’s tied up with the Affordable Care Act, nobody knows if it’s going to last.

By 7:00 Thursday morning, the methadone clinic is already bustling

Babies exposed to opioids in the womb may suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, especially in rural areas
User anitapatterson / Morguefile / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As more babies are born addicted to opioids, rural communities are being hit the hardest, according to a new study from a University of Michigan pediatrician.  

Between 2004 and 2013, urban areas saw a four-fold increase in babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (that’s the clinical term for a baby born addicted to opioids, including heroin and some prescription painkillers). Rural areas saw a seven-fold surge.

Those rural moms were also more likely to struggle financially and have less access to mental health care, says the study’s author, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Dr. Nicole Villapiano.

Looking down on a hand holding an open bottle of prescription drugs.
Sharyn Morrow / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Opioid tracking in Michigan is getting an overhaul in the future. A state task force has been working on using millions of dollars to put a dent in Michigan’s opioid drug problem. A big portion of the money and resources will go toward a new opioid tracking system.

Michigan’s current system, MAPS, keeps track of opioid prescriptions and use by patients. That helps law enforcement and medical professionals keep opioids out of the hands of drug abusers.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University.
Derrick L. Turner / Michigan State University

The eighth annual Muslim Mental Health Conference is taking place in Dearborn this week with a wide range of topics on the schedule. Everything from Islamophobia and extremism to interfaith training for people who are working with American Muslim families will be discussed.

Carolyn Gearig / Michigan Radio

In 2013, Michigan’s drug-related death rate was 18.5 deaths per 100,000 people*, higher than most other states in the country. The U.S. average was 14.6.