Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces $10 Million Investment in Michigan to Help Curb Opioid Overdose Deaths
Michigan, with one of the highest numbers of overdose deaths in the country, will receive funding to accelerate access to treatment and improve prevention efforts as it becomes second state selected for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $50 million initiative to tackle opioid crisis in the United States.
The latest decline in U.S. life expectancy is tied to a record number of drug and opioid overdose deaths and more people now die from opioid overdose than car crashes.
Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the next state in its groundbreaking $50 million initiative to combat the nationwide opioid crisis, providing $10 million in support to Michigan to help the state address its fast-rising opioid overdose death rate. Michigan joins Pennsylvania as the first two states selected for this initiative, which comes amid an alarming decline in U.S. life expectancy driven in large part by a massive increase in opioid use nationwide.
Our state ranks eighth in the country in the number of overdose deaths with 2,694 drug overdose deaths in 2017, compared to 2,335 in 2016—a 14 percent increase. Opioids were responsible for more than three-quarters of those drug overdose deaths.
The CDC reports that there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, including more than 47,000 from opioid overdoses. These are the highest numbers on record. Today, more than two million people in the United States are addicted to opioids, which are responsible for about 130 deaths in America every day; by comparison, there are approximately 102 deaths in America per day from car crashes.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment will complement the work already underway in Michigan to address the opioid crisis. Projects may include expanding medications for opioid use disorder in settings including prisons and jails, expanding distribution of naloxone, and enhancing systems to improve timely collection of data to help speed response to the crisis.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest health crises of our lifetime, and we need to marshal all forces necessary to fight back,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The opioid crisis affects nearly every county in Michigan. These funds will help our state advance a comprehensive plan and implement critical interventions that can make the biggest impact to reduce overdose deaths.”
“The opioid crisis is a national emergency that calls for bold leadership and big ideas. Governor Whitmer is committed to reversing the epidemic, and our goal is to support her administration with resources and expertise that can help them save more lives,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies Founder and World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. “We hope our work in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania spares more families the heartbreak of losing a loved one to opioid addiction or overdose. And by showing that progress is possible, we can create a model for action that other states and organizations can follow.”