Whitmer creates task force to tackle opioid epidemic

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 17:58:09-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A task force is being created to tackle Michigan’s opioid epidemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an order Wednesday forming the advisory group, which will include leaders from across state government. It is the second time a Michigan governor has created an opioid task force since 2015.

Whitmer says her move will bring the state a step closer to “finally ending” the prescription-drug epidemic that resulted in more than 2,000 overdose deaths in 2017. The task force will be led by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.

The panel will focus on increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, reducing harm, and targeting specialized populations like pregnant women and released inmates.