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Opioid Summit Latest Event to Battle Opioid Epidemic

Mark Mandell, Esq.

Over 800 people died last year of drug overdoses in Wayne County. In 2015, there were nearly 2,000 overdose deaths in Michigan, as well as 52,404 in the United States.

To combat this issue, an opioid summit was hosted on May 11th in Livonia by the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council. Over 500 professionals gathered to discuss progress and formulate additional solutions to the ongoing drug overdose epidemic.

Among the important topics discussed at the summit were the moderate successes and plans for drug antidote kits. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and other presenters laid out a prevention, treatment, and emergency help plan which included the distribution of Naxolone. Naxolone (or Narcan) is a nasal spray that blocks the deadly effect of opioids. Thus far, these antidote kits have saved 39 lives.

Other strategies proposed at the summit, included drug take-back boxes to dispose of unused prescription medications as well as training for doctors and pharmacists to detect and prevent addiction.

Macomb County District Court Judge, Linda Davis, was also a speaker at the summit. Judge Davis has been at the forefront of the battle against opioid addiction having founded the Macomb County Drug Court after dealing with a family member's addiction. Among other projects, she also helped found Operation Rx Macomb County in conjunction with Families Against Narcotics (FAN.)

Events such as this summit are necessary and extremely important in defeating the opioid epidemic that this nation is suffering through. If you have free time, please consider getting involved in your community. Lt. Gov. Calley said it best, "We need more second chances and fewer funerals."

If you need assistance at the intersection of addiction and the law, contact Mark Mandell at 248-380-9976.

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