Prescription drug misuse is a serious problem in Michigan. Prescription drug overdose deaths are on the rise across the state. Two types of prescription drugs are the leading cause of misuse. These are painkillers (opioids) and tranquilizers (benzodiazepines). Opioids include both illegal drugs, such as heroin, and prescription pain medicine. Common opioids used to treat pain include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, and codeine.

A new development in the opioid crisis has been the increase of synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids are chemically manufactured drugs. Synthetic opioids that are appearing across Michigan include fentanyl and carfentanil. These drugs are far more powerful and deadly than other opioids. Synthetic opioids are often mixed with heroin. Heroin users are often unaware that these powerful drugs are mixed into their heroin. Synthetic opioids are likely contributing to the increase in overdose deaths.

The Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force was created following Governor Snyder’s 2015 State of the State Address in which he called for a comprehensive plan to address prescription drug and opioid abuse in Michigan. The Report of Findings and Recommendations for Action issued by the Task Force discussed both the human and financial toll which result from prescription drug and opioid abuse.  The Task Force made several recommendations.

Executive Order 2016-15 signed by Governor Snyder and filed with the Secretary of State on June 23, 2016 created The Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission. The Controlled Substances Advisory Commission and the Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management were abolished by this Executive Order and all their respective authority, powers, duties, function, responsibilities, and records were transferred to the Commission.

The Commission is comprised of seventeen (17) members who are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor for two year terms. A listing of the members, who come from various professions and backgrounds, can be found below. The Commission is charged with acting in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Health and Human Services' 5-point strategy to combat the opioid crisis.

As the Nation’s Doctor, the U.S. Surgeon General is focused on improving the country’s health.  The Surgeon General communicates the best available scientific information to the public, using the position’s platform to reach individuals where they live, work, and play and by issuing scientific documents on critical public health issues.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Opioids (including prescription and illicit opioids) killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015—which is nearly quadruple the number from 2000.

Learn how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to protect individuals and families—including your employees and your business—from this dangerous problem.

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