Michigan Opioid Partnership announces over $1 million for statewide post-overdose rapid response efforts

In Press Release

As part of activities through the Michigan Opioid Partnership, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, announced seven grants totaling over $1 million.

The grants will provide outreach for individuals who have recently survived a drug overdose and connect them with resources and prevent future overdose mortality.

The overdose epidemic is one of the most pressing issues in the United States, with over half a million deaths in the past 10 years and two-thirds of these deaths associated with opioids. Overall, in the state of Michigan in 2018, there were 2,036 opioid-related deaths. Recent 2020 data suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the trend.

Research also shows that in the 24 to 72 hours after a nonfatal overdose, there is a critical window of opportunity to engage people who use drugs and connect them with resources to prevent a repeated overdose. The seven grants made to nonprofit organizations across the state fund outreach for this purpose. Post–Overdose Rapid Response Teams will engage with individuals within 24 to 72 hours, build trust, understand their needs and desires, and connect them with services that decrease risk of future overdose mortality, including naloxone, harm reduction programs, or substance use disorder treatment.

“As we continue to combat the opioid crisis across our state, it is critical that we work together with partners such as the State of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to provide the most timely and effective treatments available,” said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “We must meet people where they are in their recovery and ensure that ample resources and services are accessible and obtainable for all Michiganders struggling with opioid use disorder.”

“While much has been done in Michigan to combat the overdose crisis, there are still too many Michiganders losing their lives to preventable overdoses,” said Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, chief deputy for health and chief medical executive. “By connecting those who have recently survived an overdose to naloxone, treatment, and other services, we can help reduce the risk of future overdoses and save more lives.”

“At BCBSM, we treat substance abuse disorder as a chronic disease. We are pleased to partner with the funders and community organizations on the front line of caring for those in our community battling substance use disorder,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, senior director, Community Responsibility and Social Mission for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The grantees are:

The Michigan Opioid Partnership is a public-private collaborative including the state of Michigan and key nonprofit funders, whose mission is to decrease Michigan opioid overdoses and deaths through prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and sustained recovery.

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