Macomb County receives $2.5 million to combat opioid crisis

State gets $80 million

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published October 12, 2020

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MACOMB COUNTY — Tens of millions of dollars were recently allocated to continue to support the opioids crisis response.

On Sept. 28, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Opioids Task Force announced $80 million in federal funding that will support prevention, treatment and evidence-based harm reduction practices that save lives.

Funding comes from two sources: a $36.4 million State Opioid Response II grant, and a $43.1 million extension of the current State Opioid Response I grant. The SOR II grant began Sept. 30 and will last two years, while a continuation of the SOR I grant will continue for a third year, starting Oct. 1 and expiring Sept. 30, 2021.

The MDHHS Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration, Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care is the recipient and administrator of the grants.

The state says that over 8,000 Michiganders have died the past five years due to opioid overdoses — including five people dying on average every day in 2018.

These grants come at a needed time, when emergency calls for opioid overdoses increased 22% between April and June when compared to the same time period in 2019.

“Opioid overdose continues to be an ongoing crisis in Michigan and MDHHS is acting with utmost urgency to expand services that save lives, including medications to treat opioid use disorder and naloxone, the life-saving opioid reversal medication,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS, in a statement. “We urge local governments, health providers, law enforcement and organizations around the state to partner with us in this vital mission.”

The aforementioned grants will support startup costs for new and expanding treatment providers that offer medications, along with free training and clinical support. A new program aims to increase retention in treatment by offering incentives to patients with consistent attendance records.

A goal of the SOR II grant is to improve medical care following an overdose, such as making medications more readily available in emergency departments and developing programs that conduct wellness checks on overdose survivors.

Macomb County Community Mental Health was awarded $2.5 million annually as part of these grants, which it intends to use to expand services that address opioid-related issues while also implementing new, evidence-based services for those with opioid use disorders.

Helen Klingert, director of substance use disorder at MCCMH, said projects will target adolescents, as well as provide overdose awareness education and naloxone distribution to the general community and high-risk groups.

“Grant funds will also be used to enhance treatment services, including medication treatment for opioid use disorders in outpatient settings, case management services, medication assisted treatment services to individuals in the Macomb County Jail, and supportive services to individuals being released from prison,” Klingert said. “Recovery support services including peer recovery coach services, and supportive recovery housing options.”

MCCMH will continue to partner with contracted service agencies and local hospitals to provide screening, referral to treatment, and support services.

If you or someone you know needs treatment, contact the Macomb County Community Mental Health Access Center at (586) 948-0222. For more information related to substance use disorder funded services, call (586) 469-5278 or email mcosa@mccmh.net.

For more information on the state’s opioids crisis response, visit Michigan.gov/Opioids.

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