LANSING, Mich. — Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) released the following statement in response to Gov. Snyder’s announcement today that he was creating a Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission:
“The epidemic of prescription drug and opioid abuse has claimed many lives across Michigan and impacted numerous families — and Genesee County is no exception,” said Sen. Ananich, who served on the governor’s Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force. “The collaboration of experts and policymakers from all different backgrounds is critical to turning the tide on this epidemic, and will provide the necessary, comprehensive focus on prevention, treatment and enforcement. These stakeholders will play an important role and make a real difference in our communities.”
Genesee County ranks the fifth highest in drug poisoning deaths related to heroin and opioids in the entire state.
In 2011, during Sen. Ananich’s first term as a state representative, he worked with Rep. Johnson (R–Clare) to have legislation (House Bills 5089 and 5090, now Public Acts 383 and 384 of 2012) passed that authorized the redistribution of unused medication to needy patients, and required participating pharmacies to become prescription drug disposal sites for excess drugs.
More recently, in February 2016, Sen. Ananich — along with Rep. Charles Brunner (D–Bay City), Rep. Bill LaVoy (D–Monroe) and Sen. Dale Zorn (R–Ida) — introduced legislation that would allow Michigan school districts to stock naloxone, an antidote used to treat an opioid overdose in an emergency situation.
At least six other states — Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Kentucky and Massachusetts — have already enacted laws similar to this legislation.
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