Michigan OPEN sponsors “Navigating the New and Improved MAPS”

On July 18, Michigan OPEN was pleased to host Dr. Rebecca Haffajee, Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Kim Gaedeke, Director of the Bureau of Professional Licensing at the Michigan Department of Licensing Affairs, for a discussion on Michigan’s new prescription drug monitoring program, the Michigan Automated Prescription System or MAPS. The event was co-sponsored with the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and the University of Michigan Injury Center.

Watch Dr. Jennifer Waljee, Co-director of Michigan OPEN, and Dr. Richard Barth, Chief of General Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, discuss prevention efforts to curb the opioid epidemic.

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Six locations across the State of Michigan participated in drug take-back events on May 20, 2017. The free, no questions asked chance to get rid of opioids and other unneeded medicines out of the house took place in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Saginaw, Traverse City, Escanaba, and Pontiac.

The results of the combined events were significant, bringing in close to 600 people dropping off 421 pounds of pills. The oldest pain medication returned was from 1976 and more than 15,000 opioids across all of the events were collected. The most common reason for people to have excess medications was from surgery.

The Michigan OPEN-led event aimed to reduce the number of houses that have opioid pain medications on hand, as well as other medicines that shouldn’t be kept around or dumped in the trash or down the toilet. Michigan OPEN co-director, Chad Brummett, M.D., said, “We were very proud to partner with others to make it easy for people to get these medications out of the house before they fall into the wrong hands or get into the natural environment. We can’t thank all of our partners enough, both healthcare and law enforcement, because without them these events would not have been possible.”

The take-back events were sponsored by local health organizations and Michigan Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology in collaboration with Michigan OPEN.

In an effort to help reduce opioid use and abuse, Michigan recently received more than $16 million in federal funds. This is one step of many being taken to help more families find support and treatment for addiction. The funding itself was awarded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant. The STR grant will be used to promote prevention and access to treatment by funding a number of State of Michigan initiatives, including Michigan-OPEN research through the University of Michigan. In addition to funding such research and support, this grant is also an opportunity to address the rise of opioid users in Michigan as well as nationwide, and continue taking steps toward treatment and prevention.

Image above: Gov. Rick Snyder (speaking) announces an increased focus on combating opioid addiction in Michigan on March 23, 2017. (Emily Lawler | MLive.com)