Duly Noted

Assistant Attorneys General, investigators trained on overdose reversal drug Naloxone



As the opioid overdose rate continues to climb in Michigan, the Department of Attorney General conducted a training session Nov. 16 for assistant attorneys general and department investigators on the proper administration of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.

“Fighting the opioid abuse epidemic is more than filing charges against dealers and manufacturers, it’s getting help for those struggling with addiction,” said Attorney General Bill Schuette. “I am proud of the members of my team that took part in today’s training.
We have a responsibility to help those in need, and knowing how to save the life of someone overdosing from an opioid-based drug is part of that responsibility.”

The training, held in the Department's Detroit office in conjunction with Detroit-Wayne County Mental Health Authority, was attended by 27 assistant attor-
neys general and investigators.

Schuette has made reducing the availability of opioids and increasing the availability of high quality treatment a priority.

According to statistics from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 1,365 people died as a result of an opioid overdose in 2016, compared to 884 in 2015 and 426 in 2012, meaning the rate has tripled since 2012.

Opioids, both prescription and illicit, are now the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015; opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

Recently, Schuette joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 17 states, D.C., and U.S. Virgin Islands to call on over a dozen health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services to implement programs to reduce prescription opioid abuse.

In September, Schuette joined a bipartisan coalition of 41 state attorneys general in an investigation of manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid drugs. Manufacturers include Endo International plc, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharma-
ceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc., Allergan Inc., and Purdue Pharma.

They are also seeking documents and information about distribution practices from these medical prescription distribution companies, who manage about 90% of the nation's opioid distribution: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson
In October, Schuette joined another bi-partisan coalition of Attorneys General asking Congress to change the law to make treatment for opioid addiction more affordable and accessible.

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