Calley, Patterson discuss prescription drug abuse with Oakland County Partnership

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, and other public officials discussed how the state of Michigan and Oakland County can coordinate efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse during a May 27 meeting of the Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership. The meeting was held in the second floor conference room of the Oakland County Health Division.

Calley reviewed the recommendations of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, which he chaired. Patterson and partnership members highlighted local efforts in addressing this public health epidemic.

"Addressing the prescription drug abuse crisis requires partnerships at every level to strengthen education, prevention and treatment," Patterson said. "I applaud the work of the state task force and our county partnership. I am looking forward to working together to end this epidemic."

The state task force released a report in October 2015 with more than two-dozen recommendations on how to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Michigan. Many of the recommendations would require legislators to approve changes to existing state laws. Others include eliminating disincentives for people to call for help in overdose or other drug related emergencies, similar to legislation passed expanding the state's "Good Samaritan" Act to include protections for minors reporting prescription drug overdoses.

"By working together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who are impacted by the growing opioid epidemic," Calley said. "The collaboration on a state and local level between medical, law enforcement and government experts will help us reverse the addiction trend in our state."

Within the first year, the Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership achieved targeted goals by implementing a county-wide awareness campaign, increasing the medical community's knowledge by providing Boston University School of Medicine's evidence-based SCOPE of Pain Training, and initiating a Drug Death Review Committee with Oakland County's Medical Examiner. The partnership continues to advance new goals in 2016. It also has formed three new subcommittees to address a specific goal and subsequent objectives under the following target populations: older adults; student athletes, coaches, and trainers; and medical professionals.

The Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership was launched in March 2015 by the Oakland County Health Division to create a coordinated, strategic action plan for reducing prescription drug abuse and overdoses in Oakland County. The partnership has a strong coalition of partners who have an active interest in preventing prescription overdose deaths. For more information and a list of partners, visit www.oakgov.com/ health/partnerships.

Published: Wed, Jun 01, 2016

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